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Collegiate Adapted Athlete Baseline Performance on the Vestibular/Ocular Motor Screening.

CONTEXT: Concussion assessment in adapted and para-sport athletes has continued to evolve with growing considerations in para-sports, but little is known about vestibular/ocular performance assessment in this sample.

OBJECTIVE: To examine baseline performance on the Vestibular/Ocular Motor Screening (VOMS) in collegiate adapted athletes. A secondary objective was to investigate the role of sex, history of concussion, and functional classification on baseline measures.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional study.

SETTING: University adapted athletics facility.

PATIENTS OR OTHER PARTICIPANTS: 54 collegiate adapted athletes (age=21.19±2.6 years) from multiple institution's adapted athletics programs across the United States.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Adapted athletes completed a baseline VOMS assessment while at the host university for in-season competition and tournaments. Independent variables were sex, history of concussion and functional classification (1.0-4.5 at 0.5 intervals). VOMS performance consisted of pre-test symptoms (headache, dizziness, nausea, and fogginess) and post-item (e.g., smooth pursuits, saccades) symptom provocation/change from pre-test scores.

RESULTS: 50.9% reported 0 symptom provocation on the VOMS, with 72% having no pre-test symptoms. No sex differences were noted on the VOMS (p>0.05); However, adapted athletes with a history of concussion reported greater VOMS provocation on horizontal saccades (p=0.008) than those with no history. Higher functional classifications (2.0-4.5) reported greater provocation on horizontal saccades (p=0.010), horizontal and vertical saccades (p=0.043 and 0.048) vestibular ocular reflex (VOR), and VOR cancellation (p=0.036) than 1.0-1.5 athletes.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings provide context for baseline VOMS performance in collegiate adapted athletes and identifying modifiers at baseline. Special consideration is warranted on vestibular and oculomotor assessment in adapted and para-sport athletes with a history of concussion and higher functional classifications.

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