Murdoch University Research Repository

Welcome to the Murdoch University Research Repository

The Murdoch University Research Repository is an open access digital collection of research
created by Murdoch University staff, researchers and postgraduate students.

Learn more

In situ use of the King-Devick eye tracking test and changes seen with sport-related concussion: saccadic and blinks counts

Hecimovich, M., King, D., Dempsey, A.ORCID: 0000-0001-8219-6120, Gittins, M. and Murphy, M. (2018) In situ use of the King-Devick eye tracking test and changes seen with sport-related concussion: saccadic and blinks counts. The Physician and Sportsmedicine, 47 (1). pp. 78-84.

Link to Published Version:
*Subscription may be required


Objectives: Sport-related concussion (SRC) can result in impaired oculomotor function. Oculomotor performance, measured utilizing the King-Devick/Eye Tracking test (K-D/ET), is reported to be able to identify sub-optimal brain function. The objectives of the study were to determine the diagnostic accuracy of the K-D/ET in identifying SRC occurring from game participation and to perform a comparative analysis on saccade and blink counts for each K-D card individually and total counts between baseline and post-concussion.

Methods: Nineteen male Australian Football players were assessed on the K-D/ET test. Those suspected of having SRC secondary to a head impact were also tested.

Results: Participants recorded a slower time on the third (20.2 ± 4.6 s) screen when compared with the first (p = 0.0424) and second (p = 0.0150) screens. The number of blinks was higher on the third (2.9 ± 2.9) when compared with the second (p = 0.0057) screen. There was decrease of the K-D/ET total times between pre- and post-game (p = 0.1769). Participants who sustained a head impact recorded slower mean total K-D time (p = 0.7322), fewer mean total saccades (p = 0.0112), and more mean blinks (p = 0.8678) compared with their baseline scores. The assessment of blinks was the most sensitive measure for potential SRC (0.67). The K-D/ET duration was the most specific measure for potential SRC (0.88). An increase in the number of blinks had a fair specificity of 0.69.

Conclusion: The rapid number-naming component of the K-D test is an assessment tool which quantifies impairment to oculomotor function and has been validated as a diagnostic tool for SRC. The clinical usefulness of the eye tracking component of the K-D/ET test is that it may be an effective method to assess concussions with the eye tracking component serving as a measure of progression and return to play. However, more research is required at the adult and youth level.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Psychology and Exercise Science
Publisher: Taylor and Francis Ltd.
Copyright: © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
Item Control Page Item Control Page