Vestibular and Ocular/Oculomotor Assessment Strategies and Outcomes Following Sports-Related Concussion: A Scoping Review

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Sports Medicine


Background: Recent literature has identified that the vestibular system is often involved following a sport-related concussion. Furthermore, the consequences of vestibular and ocular/oculomotor involvement have been explored and identified as potential predictors for prolonged recovery. Although vestibular and ocular/oculomotor involvement is common following head injury, the clinical assessment strategies for vestibular function are less commonly practiced in the sports medicine setting and have limited research. Therefore, despite the suspected link between vestibular consequences of concussion and prolonged recovery time, there is limited understanding on how these consequences affect outcomes following concussion and how to properly assess these functions. Objectives: The objectives of this scoping review were to: (1) outline the current clinical assessment strategies for vestibular and ocular/oculomotor function in sports medicine to identify the best strategies for assessment, and (2) investigate the evidence regarding the influence of vestibular and ocular/oculomotor function on outcomes for patients with a sport-related concussion. Methods: Two separate and independent reviews of the current literature were conducted to provide evidence for each specified objective. Studies for potential inclusion were identified through electronic database searches. Inclusion criteria for each objective were used to identify the most effective studies and inquiries to address the outlined objectives. Results: The identified and included studies provided evidence-based information regarding the current assessment strategies as well as outcomes following concussion. Conclusion: Despite agreement among studies, there was limited evidence to support each aim, identifying a need for further exploration into these objectives.

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