Symptom complaints following combat-related traumatic brain injury: relationship to traumatic brain injury severity and posttraumatic stress disorder

Heather G Belanger, Tracy Kretzmer, Rodney D Vanderploeg, Louis M French
Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society: JINS 2010, 16 (1): 194-9
Patients with a history of mild (n = 134) or moderate-to-severe (n = 91) TBI were asked to complete the Neurobehavioral Symptom Inventory (NSI) and the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist. Consistent with prior research, significantly more postconcussion symptoms were endorsed by the mild group. After controlling for age, time since injury, and mechanism of injury, TBI severity continued to be significantly related to postconcussion complaints on the NSI. However, after controlling for these same variables, along with posttraumatic stress disorder symptom severity, there no longer were differences between the TBI severity groups. That is, patients with mild TBI did not endorse significantly more complaints (adjusted mean = 22.4) than the moderate-to-severe group (adjusted mean = 21.8). These findings suggest that much of the symptom complaints in mildly injured patients may be due to emotional distress.

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