Research Reports - Prevalence & predictors of poor recovery from mild traumatic brain injury

J Neurotrauma. 2015 May 13

Rabinowitz AR(1), Li X, McCauley SR, Wilde EA, Barnes AF, Hanten G, Mendez D,
McCarthy JJ, Levin H

Although most mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) patients recover within three
months, a subgroup of patients experience persistent symptoms. Yet, the
prevalence and predictors of persistent dysfunction in mTBI patients remain
poorly understood. In a longitudinal study, we evaluated predictors of
symptomatic and cognitive dysfunction in adolescents and young adults with mTBI,
as compared with two control groups-patients with orthopedic injuries, and
healthy uninjured individuals. Outcomes were assessed three months post injury.
Poor symptomatic outcome at was defined as exhibiting a symptom score higher than
90% of the orthopedic control (OC) group, and poor cognitive outcome was defined
as exhibiting cognitive performance poorer than 90% of the OC group. At three
months post injury, over half of the patients with mTBI (52%) exhibited
persistently elevated symptoms, and more than a third (36.4%) exhibited poor
cognitive outcome. Whereas the rate of high symptom report in mTBI was markedly
greater than that of typically developing (13%) and OC (17%) groups; the
proportion of those with poor cognitive performance in the mTBI group exceeded
that of typically developing controls (15.8%), but was similar to that of the OC
group (34.9%). Older age at injury, female gender, and acute symptom report were
predictors of poor symptomatic outcome at three months. Socioeconomic status was
the only significant predictor of poor cognitive outcome at three months.

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