Article

Cumulative mild head injury (CMHI) among college rugby players: A replication and extension study

Published in: Journal of Psychology in Africa
Volume 27, issue 6, 2017, pages: 549–552
DOI: 10.1080/14330237.2017.1399571
Author(s): Kathryn NelDepartment of Psychology, South Africa, Saraswathie GovenderDepartment of Psychology, South Africa, Mokgadi RapetsoaDepartment of Psychology, South Africa, Christopher NelDepartment of Human Movement Science, South Africa

Abstract

We investigated the prevalence of cumulative mild head injury (CMHI) symptoms among college student rugby players pre- and post-season. The players completed a number of neuropsychological tests known to be sensitive to CMHI effects: vocabulary, working memory, motor coordination, and a self-report Post Concussive Symptomology (PCS) checklist. A total of 18 rugby players registered at a South African university were participants (age range 18 to 24 years, SD = 2.02 years). Data were analysed utilising Fishers Exact Test comparisons of pre- and post-season mean scores. There was significant variability on mean scores between the rugby forwards and backline players in terms of verbal memory and concept formation, cognitive flexibility, working memory, and visual motor-processing speed. Poorer overall scores from the rugby forwards may also be indicative of depression as they reported more insomnia and anger on the PCS than the backline players.

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