Research Reports - Subacute posttraumatic complaints and psychological distress in trauma patients with or without mild traumatic brain injury

Injury. 2016 Sep;47(9):2041-7. doi: 10.1016/j.injury.2016.04.036. Epub 2016 Apr

de Koning ME(1), Gareb B(2), El Moumni M(2), Scheenen ME(3), van der Horn HJ(1),
Timmerman ME(4), Spikman JM(3), van der Naalt J(5).

OBJECTIVE: To identify the frequency, nature and profile of complaints for trauma
patients with and without mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), and to assess their
relation to anxiety and depression.
METHODS: A prospective cohort study in a level-one trauma centre was conducted.
Mild traumatic brain injury patients and trauma controls were approached for
participation. Two weeks after injury, The Head Injury Symptom Checklist (HISC)
and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) were administered.
RESULTS: Two-hundred seventy two patients with mTBI and 125 TC patients completed
the questionnaires. Differences were demonstrated between the two trauma
populations on frequency and nature of reported complaints. Ordinal common factor
analysis on the mTBI scores yielded three factors: mental distress, physical
discomfort, and sensory disbalance, which were all significantly correlated to
anxiety and depression scores. Discriminant analyses identified a subset of
complaints which could allocate almost 80% of patients to the correct group.
CONCLUSIONS: Patients with mTBI showed a different pattern of complaints than
orthopaedic control patients. A mental distress factor consisting of both somatic
and cognitive complaints proved to be most discriminating and showed high
correlations with anxiety and depression. 

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