Post-traumatic and emotional symptoms in different subgroups of patients with mild head injury

N. Bohnen, A. Twijnstra, J. Jolles

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    Post-concussional symptoms, such as headache, dizziness and irritability, are thought to result from the emotional stress associated with decreased cognitive performance after a head injury. A questionnaire-based investigation was carried out in 71 patients with mild head injury (MHI), using a heterogeneous item pool in order to study the interrelationships between traditional post-concussive complaints, cognitive problems, and more emotional and functional complaints. Factor analysis indicated that post-concussive symptoms loaded together with items on problems associated with decreased work performance and fatigability on a first factor, whereas psychovegetative and emotional complaints loaded together on a second factor. Two rating scales were constructed from the relevant items and were used to compare between subgroups of MHI patients and non-concussed controls. Patients with uncomplicated MHI had significantly higher scores than non-concussed subjects on the post-concussive-cognitive scale, but not on the emotional-vegetative scale. Patients with multiple head injuries or pre-existing emotional problems had higher scores on both the post-concussive-cognitive scale and the emotional-vegetative scale than MHI patients without a history of emotional problems. Reliable rating scales may be useful m multidiagnostic studies of MHI patients.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)481-487
    Number of pages7
    JournalBrain Injury
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1992

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