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Persistent problems 1 year after mild traumatic brain injury: a longitudinal population study in New Zealand

Abstract
Background: Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is a common problem in general practice settings, yet previous research does not take into account those who do not attend hospital after injury. This is important as there is evidence that effects may be far from mild. Aim To determine whether people sustain any persistent effects 1 year after mTBI, and to identify the predictors of health outcomes. Design and setting: A community-based, longitudinal population study of an mTBI incidence cohort (n = 341) from a mixed urban and rural region (Hamilton and Waikato Districts) of the North Island of New Zealand (NZ). Method: Adults (>16 years) completed assessments of cognitive functioning, global functioning, postconcussion symptoms, mood, and quality of life over the year after injury. Results: Nearly half of participants (47.9%) reported experiencing four or more post-concussion symptoms 1 year post-injury. Additionally, 10.9% of participants revealed very low cognitive functioning. Levels of anxiety, depression, or reduced quality of life were comparable with the general population. Having at least one comorbidity, history of brain injury, living alone, non-white ethnic group, alcohol and medication use, and being female were significant predictors of poorer outcomes at 12 months. Conclusion: Although some people make a spontaneous recovery after mTBI, nearly half continue to experience persistent symptoms linked to their injury. Monitoring of recovery from mTBI may be needed and interventions provided for those experiencing persistent difficulties. Demographic factors and medical history should be taken into account in treatment planning.
Type
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Series
Citation
Date
2016-01-01
Publisher
ROYAL COLL GENERAL PRACTITIONERS
Degree
Supervisors
Rights
©2016 British Journal of General Practice. This work is licensed under a CC BY 4.0 licence.