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Theadom, A., Starkey, N., Barker-Collo, S., Jones, K., Ameratunga, S., & Feigin, V. (2018). Population-based cohort study of the impacts of mild traumatic brain injury in adults four years post-injury. PLoS ONE, 13(1). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0191655
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/13034
There is increasing evidence that some people can experience persistent symptoms for up to a year following mild TBI. However, few longitudinal studies of mild TBI exist and the longerterm impact remains unclear. The purpose of this study is to determine if there are long-term effects of mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) four-years later. Adults (aged 16 years) identified as part of a TBI incidence study who experienced a mild-TBI four-years ago (N = 232) were compared to age-sex matched controls (N = 232). Sociodemographic variables, prior TBI and symptoms were assessed at the time of injury. Four years post-injury participants completed the Rivermead Post-Concussion Symptom Questionnaire, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and the Participation Assessment with Recombined Tools. Analysis of covariance was used to compare differences between TBI cases four years post-injury and controls, controlling for prior TBI and depression. A multiple regression model was used to identify the predictors of increased symptoms and reduced participation. The mild-TBI sample experienced significantly increased self-reported cognitive symptoms (F = 19.90, p = <0.01) four years post-injury than controls. There were no differences between the groups for somatic (F = 0.02, p = 0.89) or emotional symptoms (F = 0.31, p = 0.58). Additionally, the mild-TBI group reported significantly poorer community participation across all three domains: productivity (F = 199.07, p = <0.00), social relations (F = 13.93, p = <0.00) and getting out and about (F = 364.69, p = <0.00) compared to controls. A regression model accounting for 41% of the variance in cognitive symptoms in TBI cases revealed a history of TBI, receiving acute medical attention and baseline cognitive symptoms, sleep quality, anxiety and depression were predictive of outcome. The results indicate that whilst somatic and emotional symptoms resolve over time, cognitive symptoms can become persistent and that mild TBI can impact longer-term community participation. Early intervention is needed to reduce the longer-term impact of cognitive symptoms and facilitate participation.
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