What is multimodal baseline testing?
A series of physical and cognitive tests that measures healthy brain function before a sports season starts. As symptoms of concussion will often disappear days to weeks before the brain has fully recovered, having baseline information may provide healthcare practitioners with valuable information on brain recovery that may help to inform safer return to learn, work and play decisions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Concussion baseline testing is a series of tests that can provide an overview of healthy brain function before a concussion injury. These tests can offer healthcare practitioners with an objective benchmark on which to compare should an athlete sustain a concussion.
The CCMI concussion baseline test is a comprehensive, multimodal series of physical and cognitive tests. Other organizations may use a single test or a small group of tests whereas we use a variety of tests, which offer more objective insights, data, and improved accuracy and reliability.
Not all baseline tests are the same. Complete Concussion Management’s multimodal baseline test includes nine assessments that measure medical history and symptom score, concentration and auditory memory, visual tracking and processing speed, reaction time, balance and proprioception, motor strength, and neurocognitive testing.
Yes. Licensed healthcare practitioners can provide treatment and rehabilitation to concussion patients who have not had a baseline test. That said, we recommend baseline testing for high risk athletes prior to the start of a season to provide a pre-injury overview of healthy brain function, which can help to inform safer return to learn, work and play decisions should an athlete sustain a concussion.
Our comprehensive, multimodal concussion baseline test measures multiple areas of brain function that are commonly impacted following a concussion, and evaluates various facets of concussion injuries including memory, concentration, visual processing, reaction time, visual movements, balance, motor strength, and neurocognitive testing. Each test has established their own reliability and efficacy within published research, and has shown to have improved reliability when used in combination.
There are varying views on the potential benefits of baseline testing for athletes that may differ by organization and/or country. Although not required for all athletes, several leading sports and public health organizations recommend and/or recognize the benefits of baseline testing for high-risk athletes, including the NCAA, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine. Similar sentiment is included in the international Consensus Statement on Concussion in Sport, which is recognized as the most current evidence to provide guidelines on the prevention, recognition, assessment, and management of sport-related concussion.
Lastly, a joint statement issued in September 2017 by Sport Physiotherapy Canada and the Canadian Physiotherapy Association reads: “Baseline testing is one tool that can be used to understand concussion, provided that the practitioners and consumers of these tests understand the limitations. What is clear, however, is the evidence related to a multi-facetted approach to assessment, diagnosis and management of concussion.”
We will continue to follow the growing scientific evidence for multimodal baseline testing to support the management, treatment and rehabilitation of concussion injuries, and revise our program accordingly. Currently, these practices are recommended in sports where athletes are at higher risk for concussion such as hockey, football, soccer, rugby, gymnastics and cycling, among others.
Athletes can schedule a multimodal baseline test at a recognized CCMI clinic. Click here for locations near you.
The cost for baseline assessments may vary by clinic, number of participants and/or team rates. In some cases, multimodal baseline assessments may be covered by private insurance and/or secondary health benefits.