It is well recognised in sports medicine that concussion is amongst the most complex injuries to diagnose, assess and manage. This is compounded by the fact that there is no perfect diagnostic tool or method for an immediate diagnosis of concussion.

Clinical diagnosis remains the gold standard.

The Sports Concussion Assessment Tool - 5th Edition (SCAT5©) is used to support the clinical diagnosis of a medical practitioner or healthcare professional. The SCAT5© should not be used as a stand-alone method to diagnose concussion, measure recovery, or make decisions about an athlete’s readiness to return to competition.

The SCAT5© is a multi-modal assessment tool designed for use by medical practitioners and healthcare professionals to support their clinical assessment. The SCAT5© includes:

On-field or Immediate:

  • Step 1: Red Flags
  • Step 2: Observable Signs
  • Step 3: Maddocks Questions
  • Step 4: GSC
  • Cervical Spine Assessment

Off-field or Office:

  • Step 1: Athlete Background
  • Step 2: Symptom Evaluation
  • Step 3: Cognitive Screening
  • Step 4: Neurological Screen
  • Step 5: Delayed Recall
  • Step 6: Decision

The SCAT5© is a standardised method for evaluating injured athletes for concussion, and can be used for athletes aged 13 and above. For children aged 5 to 12 years, the Child SCAT5© should be used.

You might want to download the SCAT5© and print it, so you can refer to it as you work through this educational module.

Download SCAT5© as a printable Adobe PDF file