Research Reports - An investigation of the impact of facial affect recognition impairments in moderate to severe TBI on fatigue, depression, and quality of life

Soc Neurosci. 2016 Apr 27:1-5. [Epub ahead of print]

Genova HM(1,)(2), Genualdi A(1), Goverover Y(1,)(3), Chiaravalloti ND(1,)(2),
Marino C(1,)(4), Lengenfelder J(1,)(2).

Individuals with moderate to severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) have been shown
to experience significant problems in facial affect recognition (FAR). However,
it is not known how these impairments relate to overall functioning and quality
of life (QoL) following TBI. The aim of the current study was to test the
hypothesis that worse performance on an FAR task would be associated with reduced
QoL (related to social and emotional functioning), worse mood, and increased
fatigue. Forty-seven individuals with TBI and 27 healthy controls (HCs) completed
the facial emotion identification task (FEIT), as well as questionnaires
assessing social and emotional QoL, mood, and fatigue. The TBI group performed
significantly worse than HCs on the FEIT. A significant relationship between FAR
and fatigue and QoL related to social and emotional functioning was documented,
but in an unexpected direction: individuals who performed better on the FEIT
reported poorer QoL and greater fatigue. Individuals who have better FAR may
require increased effort to perform this task, and thus experience greater
fatigue and poorer social and emotional QoL.

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