- Concussion Management
- Our Tests
These pages are intended for medical professionals. Do not try to use CogState Sport to diagnose or treat yourself. CogState Sport reports must be interpreted by a doctor.
Two types of Report
- Baseline test report (described on this page)
- After-injury test report (described on next page)
Baseline reports are generated after the athlete has taken a baseline (ideally pre-season) test while they are healthy. These reports summarize whether the athlete appeared to understand the test instructions, and whether the athlete's performance was within 'normal ranges' when compared to a group of age- and education-matched peers. After-injury reports are different. They are generated when an athlete has taken a CogState Sport test after a concussion.
There are three broad types of baseline report. These are:
- Valid baseline
- Poor baseline - Retest recommended
- Poor baseline - Specialist interpretation required
This report is returned when the athlete's cognitive test performance is within the 'normal range' of an age and education matched peer group. The report will have a green check accompanied by the words 'VALID BASELINE'.
When you see this symbol, it means that the athlete has performed 'within the normal range', and that the baseline test may be compared to an after-injury Sentinel test for that athlete.
Baseline reports state the athlete codename. This codename is very important, and must be used again if an after injury test is needed.
It is important that you read and carefully consider all advice presented in the 'Results Summary' section of the report. However in most cases, there is no need for this type of report to be interpreted by a doctor. Any competent person with a duty of care to the athlete can accept a "Valid Baseline" report.
Some reports will come back with a red cross. All such baseline tests are in-valid and may not be used for comparison with an after-injury test.
If this happens you must read the "Report Summary" to determine what action is required. This will say either "retest recommended" or "specialist interpretation required"
Poor baseline: retest recommended
A "retest recommended" report is returned under a number of circumstances. The most common will be when the athlete's cognitive test performance falls below the 'normal range' of an age and education matched peer group. However, other situations may trigger a 'retest recommended' report, including:
- There was evidence of practice effects - i.e. the athlete's performance improved significantly over the course of the test.
- Evidence of "faking bad" was found. Note this does not mean the athlete was certainly trying to "fake bad" - it only means that some aspects of their performance were similar to what has been found when people do try to fake a bad result.
- The test was not completed; or
- There was evidence that the athlete had misunderstood the instructions, and so performed badly in one or more specific tests.
In most cases, there is no need for this type of report to be interpreted by a doctor. Any competent adult with a duty of care to the athlete can act on a "retest required" report - by having the athlete take another test. Make sure that the athlete is rested, seated in a quiet environment and is not distracted. It is also a good idea to have the athlete practice the test again before performing another baseline test.
As with all reports, it is crucial that you read and carefully consider all advice presented in the 'Results Summary' section of the report.
Poor Baseline - specialist interpretation required
Sometimes an athlete will perform below the normal range on two consecutive attempts at CogState Sport. When this occurs, the report will show a red cross and will recommend that any after-injury test report be interpreted by a specialist with expertise in neuropsychological assessment. This might include a neuropsychologist, neurologist or neurosurgeon.
Baseline results that fall outside the normal range for cognitive performance may indicate an undiagnosed medical or other condition for which treatment may be needed and, in case of such results, the athlete should be seen by a medical professional. For these reasons, these types of reports are accompanied by a recommendation that the athlete take the report to a medical professional.
If a patient has presented to you with a report like this then you should look for a medical or other condition which might have caused this poor performance. As a minimum you should consider all of the factors in the table "Factors which may cause changes in performance on CogState Sport testing". However, after investigation you may judge that there is nothing wrong - and that the only problem is that the patient performs poorly in this type of test. In that case, one of things you should do is to warn the patient (or parents, school, etc) that in the event of a concussion, they will need to be referred to a specialist.
Sections of the baseline report
- Codename: Identifies the athlete. For privacy reasons the athlete's name should not be used, a codename (or number) should be used.
- Date of Birth: Displays the athlete's date of birth, as reported by the athlete when the test was taken.
- Education: Records the highest level of education completed by the athlete, as reported by the athlete when test taken.
- Handedness: Records the athlete's choice of "I am right handed", "I am left handed". The keypress responses are set so that a "yes" answer is always given with the dominant hand.
- Date of test / Time of test: Reports the date and time set on the computer when the test was taken.
- Type of test: Should say "Baseline test".
- Test ID: For CogState use, allows us to identify the particular test in case of query.
- Account username: This is the username of the account holder (e.g. team). It is not the same as codename, which identifies the athlete.
- Result Summary: This section gives a written summary of the athlete's performance compared to an age and education matched 'normal range' derived from a group of peers.
- Clinical Symptom Checklist: This is a self-rated (i.e. the athlete picks the responses) symptom scale taken from the Prague Guidelines Sport Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT).