Examining the Equivalence of Story Memory Test Forms in Assessing Verbal Memory in Concussed College Athletes

Open Access
Krecko, Kristina Reist
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Peter Andrew Arnett, Thesis Supervisor
  • Kenneth Levy, Honors Advisor
  • concussion
  • neuropsychological testing
  • Rivermead Behavioral Memory Test
  • verbal memory
Concussions are the most common form of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), and it is estimated that at least 300,000 athletes sustain sports-related concussions each year in the United States (Moser et al., 2007). Neuropsychological testing is commonly used in both the diagnosis of concussions and in tracking recovery. The present study aims to validate one of the paper-and-pencil tests included in the neuropsychological concussion testing battery for the Penn State Sports Concussion Program. This test, the Rivermead Behavioural Memory Test (RBMT), was developed by Wilson et al. (1989) in order to screen for everyday memory problems. This test has been found to be a good measure of verbal memory, and verbal memory deficits are quite sensitive to concussion (Bruce & Echemendia, 2003). The present study used a sample of 162 collegiate athletes from The Pennsylvania State University to evaluate the equivalence of four forms of one of the subtests of the RBMT. It was found that performance on forms A and B of the RBMT was significantly better than performance on forms C and D. Convergent and discriminant validity measures were also performed, and the RBMT was found to be most significantly correlated with other tests of the Penn State Sports Concussion Program neuropsychological testing battery that measure memory. Thus, although the RBMT forms were not found to be equivalent, the RBMT was validated as being sensitive to verbal memory. The implications for these findings in the future of the Penn State Sports Concussion Program are discussed.