Center for Injury Research and Prevention

Use of the Vestibular and Oculomotor Examination for Concussion in a Pediatric Emergency Department.

TitleUse of the Vestibular and Oculomotor Examination for Concussion in a Pediatric Emergency Department.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsCorwin DJ, Propert KJ, Zorc JJ, Zonfrillo MR, Wiebe DJ
JournalAm J Emerg Med
Date Published2018 Sep 05

BACKGROUND: Concussion guidelines recommend a vestibular and oculomotor (VOM) examination be performed for all patients with concern for concussion, however the feasibility of performing testing is unknown. We aimed to measure rates of exam performance after implementation of training and support tools in a pediatric emergency department.

METHODS: We conducted a retrospective study of patients age 6 to 18 years old presenting over a 12-month period. Charts were obtained via natural language processing, where concussion was suggested as a diagnosis in the electronic health record, and then manually reviewed to record patient and provider factors. A multivariable logistic regression was performed to determine factors associated with exam performance, and a classification and regression tree (CART) analysis was performed to determine if a specific patient type was at risk for not having testing performed.

RESULTS: Four hundred patients were included in the analysis. Sixty-four percent received a VOM examination (including 73% of those diagnosed with concussion). Provider type, concussion history, symptom burden, injury mechanism, and final diagnosis were all significantly associated with exam performance. CART analysis determined patients with a non-concussion diagnosis, a non-sports injury mechanism, no prior history of concussion, and two or fewer symptoms had the lowest likelihood (46%) of receiving the exam.

CONCLUSION: Performing a VOM examination for concussion is feasible in the acute setting following provider education and using clinical support tools. The exam is more likely to be performed on those children with history or exam findings associated with perceived risk for ongoing symptoms.

Alternate JournalAm J Emerg Med
PubMed ID30197233