Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society

Research Articles

Rates of symptom reporting following traumatic brain injury

SUREYYA DIKMENa1a2a3 c1, JOAN MACHAMERa1, JESSE R. FANNa3 and NANCY R. TEMKINa2a4

a1 Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington

a2 Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington

a3 Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington

a4 Department of Biostatistics, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington

Abstract

This study examines rates of reporting of new or worse post-traumatic symptoms for patients with a broad range of injury severity at 1 month and 1 year after traumatic brain injury (TBI), as compared with those whose injury spared the head, and assesses variables related to symptom reporting at 1 year post-injury. Seven hundred thirty two TBI subjects and 120 general trauma comparison (TC) subjects provided new or worse symptom information at 1 month and/or 1 year post-injury. Symptom reporting at 1 year post-injury was compared in subgroups based on basic demographics, preexisting conditions, and severity of brain injury. The TBI group reported significantly more symptoms at 1 month and 1 year after injury than TCs (each p < .001). Although symptom endorsement declined from 1 month to 1 year, 53% of people with TBI and 24% of TC continued to report 3 or more symptoms at 1 year post-injury. Symptom reporting in the TBI group was significantly related to age, gender, preinjury alcohol abuse, pre-injury psychiatric history, and severity of TBI. Symptom reporting is common following a traumatic injury and continues to be experienced by a substantial number of TBI subjects of all severity levels at 1 year post-injury. (JINS, 2010, 16, 401–411.)

(Received August 10 2009)

(Reviewed January 29 2010)

(Accepted February 01 2010)

Correspondence:

c1 Correspondence to: Sureyya Dikmen, Ph.D., Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Mail Stop: 359612, Harborview Medical Center, 325 Ninth Avenue, Seattle, Washington 98104. E-mail: Dikmen@u.washington.edu