All Theses, Dissertations, and Capstone Projects

Year of Award



Master of Science (MS)


College of Education & Allied Health

Degree Program

Speech-Language Pathology


Communication Disorders and Deaf Education

First Advisor

Carmen Russell | PhD, CCC-SLP

Second Advisor

Jenna Voss | PhD, CED LSLS Cert AVEd

Third Advisor

Gale Rice | PhD, CCC-SLP


concussion, speech-language pathology, academic, readiness, classroom, phonemic fluency, clock drawing, sports related concussion, mild traumatic brain injury, cognitive, college student athletes


The ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Test) is a commonly used computerized neurocognitive test for concussion management in college student-athletes (Lovell, 2020). This assessment is heavily relied upon by athletic trainers to make decisions regarding timing of return-to-play and return-to-classroom for college student-athletes. Predicting when students are ready to return-to-learn is imperative for their success in the classroom. However, the current evidence shows that the validity and reliability of the ImPACT may be lacking. As of ten years ago, a single study had yet to demonstrate the validity of the ImPACT by comparing the scores to traditional neurocognitive testing (Covassin, Elbin, Stiller-Ostrowski, & Kontos, 2009). Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) are within the scope of practice for speech-language pathologists (SLPs) and they utilize traditional cognitive test batteries to assess their clients (Traumatic Brain Injury in Adults, n.d.). Because this area of research is still in its infancy, this study compared ImPACT scores to standardized cognitive assessments used by SLPs for assessing cognition post-concussion. The topic was further explored by gathering qualitative data post-concussion via surveys. The information gathered suggests that the ImPACT should be interpreted cautiously as some cognitive deficits may go undetected. In addition, among the traditional assessments of cognition employed in this study, clock drawing and phonemic verbal fluency tasks appear to be the most sensitive measures for cognitive evaluation of mild traumatic brain injuries.

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Available for download on Sunday, April 30, 2023