When a minor head injury results in enduring symptoms: a prospective investigation of risk factors for postconcussional syndrome after mild traumatic brain injury.

Clinical and Experimental Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK.
Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry (Impact Factor: 4.87). 02/2012; 83(2):217-23. DOI: 10.1136/jnnp-2011-300767
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT A significant proportion (15-30%) of patients with mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) are at risk of developing postconcussional syndrome (PCS). The aim of this study was to investigate the contributions of cognitive, emotional, behavioural and social factors to the development of PCS and identify early predictors.
A prospective cohort design was employed. 126 MTBI patients completed baseline questionnaire assessments within 2 weeks of the injury and 107 completed follow-up questionnaire assessments at 3 and 6 months. A series of self-report measures were used to assess cognitive, behavioural and emotional responses to MTBI. The primary outcome was the ICD-10 diagnosis for PCS. Demographic and clinical characteristic variables were compared between PCS cases and non-cases using independent sample t tests and χ(2) tests. Individual and multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to detect predictors of PCS.
Of 107 MTBI patients, 24 (22%) met the criteria for PCS at 3 months and 22 (21%) at 6 months. Individual logistic regression analysis indicated that negative MTBI perceptions, stress, anxiety, depression and all-or-nothing behaviour were associated with the risk of PCS. Multivariate analysis revealed that all-or-nothing behaviour was the key predictor for the onset of PCS at 3 months while negative MTBI perceptions predicted PCS at 6 months.
The study provides good support for the proposed cognitive behavioural model. Patients' perceptions of their head injury and their behavioural responses play important roles in the development of PCS, indicating that cognitive and behavioural factors may be potential targets for early preventive interventions.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Abstract Objective: To determine acceptability and preliminary effectiveness of Emergency Department (ED) Social Work Intervention for Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (SWIFT-Acute) on alcohol use, community functioning, depression, anxiety, post-concussive symptoms, post-traumatic stress disorder and service use. Methods: This study enrolled 64 patients who received head CT after mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and were discharged <24 hours from a Level 1 trauma centre ED. The cohort study compared outcomes for SWIFT-Acute (n = 32) and Usual Care (n = 32) 3 months post-injury. SWIFT-Acute includes education about symptoms and decreasing alcohol use, coping strategies, reassurance and education about recovery process and follow-up guidelines and resources. Measures: Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT), Community Integration Questionnaire (CIQ), Patient Health Questionnaire-4, Rivermead Post-concussion Symptoms Questionnaire, PTSD Checklist-Civilian, acceptability and service use surveys. Results: Paired t-test revealed SWIFT-Acute group maintained pre-injury community functioning; Usual Care significantly declined in functioning on the CIQ. Both groups reported 'hazardous' pre-injury drinking on AUDIT. Wilcoxon Signed Rank test showed the SWIFT-Acute group significantly reduced alcohol use; the Usual Care group did not. Both groups significantly increased medical service use. No statistically significant differences were found on other measures. Acceptability ratings were extremely high. Conclusions: SWIFT-Acute was acceptable to patients. There is preliminary evidence of effectiveness for reducing alcohol use and preventing functional decline. Future randomized studies are needed.
    Brain Injury 04/2014; · 1.51 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Compared with other psychiatric disorders, diagnosis of factitious disorders is rare, with identification largely dependent on the systematic collection of relevant information, including a detailed chronology and scrutiny of the patient's medical record. Management of such disorders ideally requires a team-based approach and close involvement of the primary care doctor. As deception is a key defining component of factitious disorders, diagnosis has important implications for young children, particularly when identified in women and health-care workers. Malingering is considered to be rare in clinical practice, whereas simulation of symptoms, motivated by financial rewards, is regarded as more common in medicolegal settings. Although psychometric investigations (eg, symptom validity testing) can inform the detection of illness deception, such tests need support from converging evidence sources, including detailed interview assessments, medical notes, and relevant non-medical investigations. A key challenge in any discussion of abnormal health-care-seeking behaviour is the extent to which a person's reported symptoms are considered to be a product of choice, or psychopathology beyond volitional control, or perhaps both. Clinical skills alone are not typically sufficient for diagnosis or to detect malingering. Medical education needs to provide doctors with the conceptual, developmental, and management frameworks to understand and deal with patients whose symptoms appear to be simulated. Central to the understanding of factitious disorders and malingering are the explanatory models and beliefs used to provide meaning for both patients and doctors. Future progress in management will benefit from an increased appreciation of the contribution of non-medical factors and a greater awareness of the conceptual and clinical findings from social neuroscience, occupational health, and clinical psychology.
    The Lancet 03/2014; · 39.06 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to identify factors that are predictive of, or associated with, high endorsement of postconcussion and posttraumatic stress symptoms following military-related traumatic brain injury (TBI). Participants were 1,600 U.S. service members (age: M = 27.1, SD = 7.1; 95.4% male) who had sustained a mild-to-moderate TBI and who had been evaluated by the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center at one of six military medical centers. Twenty-two factors were examined that included demographic, injury circumstances/severity, treatment/evaluation, and psychological/physical variables. Four factors were statistically and meaningfully associated with clinically elevated postconcussion symptoms: (i) low bodily injury severity, (ii) posttraumatic stress, (iii) depression, and (iv) military operation where wounded (p < .001, 43.2% variance). The combination of depression and posttraumatic stress symptoms accounted for the vast majority of unique variance (41.5%) and were strongly associated with, and predictive of, clinically elevated postconcussion symptoms [range: odds ratios (OR) = 4.24-7.75; relative risk (RR) = 2.28-2.51]. Five factors were statistically and meaningfully associated with clinically elevated posttraumatic stress symptoms: (i) low bodily injury severity, (ii) depression, (iii) a longer time from injury to evaluation, (iv) military operation where wounded, and (v) current auditory deficits (p < .001; 65.6% variance accounted for). Depression alone accounted for the vast majority of unique variance (60.0%) and was strongly associated with, and predictive of, clinically elevated posttraumatic stress symptoms (OR = 38.78; RR = 4.63). There was a very clear, strong, and clinically meaningful association between depression, posttraumatic stress, and postconcussion symptoms in this sample. Brain injury severity, however, was not associated with symptom reporting following TBI.
    Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology 04/2014; · 2.00 Impact Factor