Performance in the Stroop Color Word Test in relationship to the persistence of symptoms following mild head injury

N. Bohnen*, A. Twijnstra, J. Jolles

*Corresponding author for this work

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    There is much controversy about whether the persistence of postconcussive symptoms (PCS) in mild head injured patients (MHI) is related to the presence of cognitive deficits. Most studies performed so far have relied on normal non-concussed control subjects rather than directly comparing patients with and without PCS following MHI. In addition, subtle cognitive deficits may be present in MHI patients that are demonstrable only with more demanding cognitive tasks. In the present study the Stroop Color Word Interference Test together with a more demanding modified interference subtask was administered to two groups of patients with uncomplicated MHI 10 days, 5 weeks and 3 months after the injury. Ten patients with persistent symptoms at 3 months were selected and individually matched with MHI patients who had initially reported symptoms but who had recovered by 3 months. The scores of the two retrospectively defined groups were compared at the different time points. Between-subjects analysis revealed overall differences for both the original and modified color word interference subtask. Within-subject analysis indicated that only the recovery rate in the modified interference subtask was significantly different between the two groups. The observation that there was a parallel trend between recovery and persistence of PCS and performance on the cognitive interference measures supports the notion that there is a functional relationship between these two phenomena.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)116-121
    Number of pages6
    JournalActa Psychiatrica Scandinavica
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1992

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