Virtual Reality Soccer for Evaluating Return-to-Play Readiness in Athletes with Concussion
Unaltered Image by Alasdair Middleton from Rothesay, Scotland (St Mirren 0-1 Hamilton Academical May 2009)
Available for Licensing
Jaclyn A Stephens
At A Glance
A virtual reality soccer field designed to evaluating return-to-play readiness in athletes with sports-related concussion.
Reference No.: 2020-034
NCAA athletes, like those at Colorado State University (CSU), experience approximately 10,560 sports-related mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBI) each year (Zuckerman et al., 2015), and children in the United States sustain up to 1.9 million sports- and recreation-related mTBI each year (Bryan et al., 2016). Providers serving these youth with mTBI must make difficult return-to-play decisions after injury. Best practice methods to monitor athletes include a combination of self-reported symptoms, clinician-rated balance performance, and computerized neurocognitive tests (Baugh et al., 2016). However, athletes are known to under-report symptoms (Meier et al., 2015), and balance and neurocognitive measures may insufficiently challenge high-performing athletes. Thus, even when best practice is followed, athletes with recent mTBI are at increased risk for musculoskeletal injuries (Brooks et al., 2016) or new mTBI(Marshall, Guskiewicz, Shankar, McCrea, & Cantu, 2015) upon return-to-play. Notably, repeat mTBI can have negative effects on long-term health, as athletes with 2 or more mTBI demonstrate higher rates of physical, cognitive, and sleep symptoms than peers with fewer injuries (Schatz, Moser, Covassin, & Karpf, 2011).
Researchers at Colorado State university have developed a virtual reality (VR) program to enhance evaluation procedures for athletes with mTBI using innovative sport-specific tasks for high-performing athletes. Importantly, VR allows us to mimic the demands of competitive sports, without the inherent risks. Further, VR is a relatively inexpensive tool that could be used by physicians, athletic trainers, and others involved in return-to-play decision making.
Continued development and testing of new VR environments are being incorporated.
For more detailed information about this technology, please contact our office.
- First Virtual Reality technology to evaluate mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBI) from sports.
- Evaluation of athletes without inherent risk of further damage.
- Athletics clinical providers (e.g. physicians, neuropsychologists, athletic trainers, etc.)
Last updated: February 2020
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