Research Reports - Dizziness-related disability following mild-moderate traumatic brain injury

Brain Inj. 2017;31(11):1436-1444. doi: 10.1080/02699052.2017.1377348. Epub 2017
Oct 3.

Kleffelgaard I(1)(2)(3), Langhammer B(2), Hellstrom T(1), Sandhaug M(4), Tamber
AL(2), Soberg HL(1)(2)(3).

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the associations between dizziness-related disability
after mild- moderate Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and personal factors,
injury-related factors and post-injury functioning using the International
Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) as a framework.
METHODS: Baseline assessments for a Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) were
obtained for 65 patients (mean age 39.2 years; SD 12.9 years; 70.8% women) who
had dizziness and reduced balance 2-6 months after injury. The severity of the
brain injury, physical and psychological self-reported symptoms and results from
the performance based tests were used as independent variables. The main outcome
measure (dependent variable) was the Dizziness Handicap Inventory (DHI).
RESULTS: Multivariate analyses showed that, the dizziness-related disability was
predicted by pre-injury comorbidities (p ≤ 0.05) and was associated with
self-reported vertigo symptoms (p < 0.001), reduced performance-based balance
(p ≤ 0.05) and psychological distress (p ≤ 0.05). These factors accounted for 62%
of the variance in DHI.
CONCLUSION: Dizziness and balance problems after mild-moderate TBI appear to be
complex biopsychosocial phenomena. Assessments linked to the ICF domains of
functioning might contribute to a broader understanding of the needs of these
patients. Further, prospective clinical studies with non-dizzy control groups are
needed to investigate dizziness-related disability after TBI. 

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