KRS faculty and graduate students at the FWATA Annual Symposium in April 2024
KRS faculty and graduate students at the FWATA Annual Symposium in April 2024

Associate Professor Kaori Tamura, in the College of Education (COE) Department of Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Science (KRS), has been awarded $13,000 for two projects focused on concussion research.

Tamura received a $10,000 Mentoring Grant for Summer Undergraduate Research and Creative Work sponsored by the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP). Her research project, Reliability of Novel Clinically Applicable Dual Task Assessment for Concussion, focuses on the efficacy of a dual-task test for concussion assessment. The goal of the project is to improve concussion management protocol.

“Current assessment of concussion involves a series of balance and cognitive tests that are conducted one test at a time,” Tamura said. “Recently, a newer approach using both a balance test and a cognitive test, called dual-task testing, has been introduced as a potential concussion assessment. Previous studies have shown that concussed patients perform poorer on dual-task, and these deficits persist even after other concussion tests return to normal, or baseline.”

Kaori Tamura
Kaori Tamura

Because previous dual-task research utilized expensive biomechanical tools that are not available in traditional clinical or school settings, there is a need to develop clinically applicable dual-tasks and investigate their feasibility and efficacy.

The Far West Athletic Trainers’ Association (FWATA) awarded Tamura another $3,000 for the continuation of her project, Assessment of Post-Concussion Musculoskeletal Injury Risk and Clinical Predictors in Adolescent Athletes.

In her research, Tamura finds growing evidence that athletes who sustained a concussion had approximately two times greater odds of sustaining a subsequent musculoskeletal injury than athletes without concussion; however, the underlying mechanism is unclear. The aim of this project is to analyze 20 years of injury data collected through athletic trainers and to identify risk factors for post-concussion musculoskeletal injuries.

“It is great to be able to support and expand our concussion research,” Tamura said. “It wouldn’t have been possible without the collaboration between the Hawaii Concussion Awareness and Management Program (HCAMP) and KRS faculty who are involved in concussion research. I am really excited to be able to contribute to the team through these grants!”

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