Research Reports - Fatigue in traumatic brain injury patients

Ann Phys Rehabil Med. 2016 Sep;59S:e135. doi: 10.1016/

Ghroubi S(1), Feki I(2), Alila S(2), Elleuch MH(2).

OBJECTIVE: The goal of the study was to assess fatigue in traumatic brain injury
patients (TBI), identify potential predictors of its occurrence and its impact on
quality of life.
MATERIAL/PATIENTS AND METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional descriptive study
about 25 patients suffering from TBI conducted in the physical medicine and
rehabilitation department. The fatigue assessment was performed by two scales:
Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS) and EVA Fatigue (EVAF). Depression was evaluated by
the HAD scale. Quality of life was assessed by (SF36) scale.
RESULTS: The average age of our patients was 32.19±12.37 with a sex-ratio of 3.5.
Thirteen patients (52%) were victims of severe TBI. Fatigue was present in 64% of
patients (FSS>36). The mean score calculated by the FSS scale was 42.64±16.43.
The mean EVA Fatigue was 5.23±2.32. Depressive symptoms was found in 68% of TBI,
94% of them have expressed fatigue (P=0.01). The average score for quality of
life assessed by SF36 was 43.63±15.8. We found a significant correlation between
the FSS score and the SF36 score (P<0.01, r=-0.76). Fatigue was more common in
males (P=0.01, r=0.53). In addition, fatigue was negatively correlated with the
level of education (P=0.03, r=-0.44). However, fatigue was not related to the
period length after TBI, the initial GSG score or to the age.
DISCUSSION-CONCLUSION: Fatigue is a persistent symptom after traumatic brain
injury. It is often undervalued. Depressive symptoms may be responsible for its
appearance. Fatigue had a significant impact on quality of life. The proposal for
specific rehabilitation protocols taking into account the aspect of fatigue may
be efficient for these patients.

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