Predicting closed head injury using a standardized measure of sensory-motor functioning

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Hall, John J.
Dean, Raymond S.
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Thesis (Ph. D.)
Department of Educational Psychology
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The main purpose of the present study was to identify sensory-motor deficits caused by closed head injury (CHI) when individuals with CHI are compared to a normal sample. The study also investigated lower-level sensory-motor functioning, such as gait, balance, and coordination and its relation to neurological impairment related to CHI. Additionally, the study determined if age significantly influenced sensory-motor functioning.Archival data was utilized to complete the study. Data was collected from a large, Midwestern neurology clinic (CHI) as well as from a normative sample of individuals with no reported history of neurological impairment. Preliminary analyses were completed to identify outliers. Samples were then randomly selected from the impaired group (CHI) and matched with randomly selected subjects from the normative sample based upon age.Three separate analyses were completed. The first analysis focused on age and if age significantly influences sensory motor functioning. The second analysis was completed using an adult's only sample based upon the results that age significantly influenced sensory-motor performance. Finally, the third analysis utilized all age groups to determine how dramatically age had an impact on distinguishing between individuals with CHI versus a normative sample.Results demonstrated that age had a significant influence on sensory-motor performance. Measures of subcortical and cortical motor function, motor speed, motor coordination and tactile examination were able to accurately classify individuals with head injury from a normative sample to a clinically significant degree (78%). The study argues that the D-WSMB is a reliable and valid measure to utilize when evaluating individuals with CHI.