- •The King–Devick (K–D) test was used for routine assessment for possible concussion.
- •The K–D had a high baseline test–retest reliability (rs = 0.86; p < 0.0001).
- •Seven concussions were medically identified in six players with post-match K–D times greater than 3 s from baseline.
To determine whether the King–Devick (K–D) test used as a sideline test in junior rugby league players over 12 matches in a domestic competition season could identify witnessed and incidentally identified episodes of concussion.
A prospective observational cohort study of a club level junior rugby league team (n = 19) during the 2014 New Zealand competition season involved every player completing two pre-competition season baseline trials of the K–D test. Players removed from match participation, or who reported any signs or symptoms of concussion were assessed on the sideline with the K–D test and referred for further medical assessment. Players with a pre- to post-match K–D test difference >3 s were referred for physician evaluation.
The baseline test–retest reliability of the K–D test was high (rs = 0.86; p < 0.0001). Seven concussions were medically identified in six players who recorded pre- to post-match K–D test times greater than 3 s (mean change of 7.4 s). Post-season testing of players demonstrated improvement of K–D time scores consistent with learning effects of using the K–D test (67.7 s vs. 62.2 s).
Although no witnessed concussions occurred during rugby play, six players recorded pre- to post-match changes with a mean delay of 4 s resulting in seven concussions being subsequently confirmed post-match by health practitioners. All players were medically managed for a return to sports participation.
The K–D test was quickly and easily administered making it a practical sideline tool as part of the continuum of concussion assessment tools for junior rugby league players.
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Published online: July 02, 2015
Accepted: June 29, 2015
Received in revised form: June 3, 2015
Received: March 25, 2015
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