Brain Impairment

Articles

The Assessment of Executive Functioning Following Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

Maria J. Hennessya1 c1, Gina Geffena2, Gerard Pauleya3 and Tim Cutmorea4

a1 University of Sydney, Australia

a2 University of Queensland and Queensland Health, Australia

a3 Hitchin Community Mental Health, UK

a4 Griffith University, Australia

Abstract

The assessment of executive functioning 1 month following a mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) is minimal, inconsistent and difficult to integrate. Four executive processes of checking, inhibition, sharing and integrating were examined using an empirically derived assessment protocol based on executive process delineation (Baddeley & Della Sala, 1998). This protocol was administered to individuals at 1 month post-MTBI (n = 22), and a group of orthopaedic controls (n = 15) matched for age, sex, years of education and occupational status. Contrary to expectations, only one significant difference between the two groups occurred on the dual-task Telephone Search while Counting (p < .006), which was considered a measure of the executive process of sharing. Methodological limitations such as a small and heterogeneous sample may have influenced the findings in this study. The results provide support for the utility of a theoretically driven approach to executive functioning to aid the integration of neuropsychological results, and highlight the need for carefully controlled research at 1 month following a MTBI to further delineate the recovery process.

Correspondence:

c1 Address for correspondence: Maria Hennessy, Centre for the Mind, University of Sydney, The Quadrangle, A14, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia. Email: mhen2626@usyd.edu.au