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Psychometric properties and normative data for the Brief Symptom Inventory-18 (BSI-18) in high school and collegiate athletes. Clin Neuropsychol 2016 02;30(2):338-50 PMID: 26924037 PMCID: PMC4878446


OBJECTIVE: Assessment of emotional functioning is important in sport-related concussion (SRC) management, although few standardized measures have been validated in this population, and appropriate normative data are lacking. We investigated the psychometric properties of the Brief Symptom Inventory-18 (BSI-18) in high school and collegiate athletes at risk of SRC and compiled normative data.

METHOD: Athletes (n = 2,031) completed the BSI-18 and other measures of concussion symptoms, cognition, and psychological functioning. A subset of healthy individuals was re-evaluated at approximately 7, 30, 45, and 165 days. Psychometric analyses of test-retest reliability, internal consistency reliability, and concurrent validity were performed. Given significant differences between sexes and education levels (high school or college student) on the BSI-18 Global Severity Index and all subscales, normative conversion tables were produced after stratifying by these variables.

RESULTS: The BSI-18 showed good internal consistency, fair to poor test-retest reliability, and good convergent validity with other measures of emotional functioning.

CONCLUSIONS: These data indicate that the BSI-18 may be a valuable measure of emotional state in concussed athletes and may provide unique information beyond post-concussive symptoms for research on the role of psychological factors in SRC recovery. The limited divergent validity of the BSI-18 depression and anxiety scales implies that they tap into general distress more so than specific mood or anxiety symptoms; therefore, BSI-18 scores should be not relied upon for differential diagnosis of mood and anxiety disorders. Normative data provided can be readily applied to clinical cases with high school and collegiate athletes.

Author List

Lancaster MA, McCrea MA, Nelson LD


Michael McCrea PhD Professor in the Neurosurgery department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Lindsay D. Nelson PhD Assistant Professor in the Neurosurgery department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Healthy Volunteers
Neuropsychological Tests
Personal Satisfaction
Personality Tests
Post-Concussion Syndrome
Reference Values
Reproducibility of Results
Sex Factors
Young Adult

View this publication's entry at the Pubmed website PMID: 26924037
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