Research Reports - Determinants of subjective memory complaints in community-dwelling adults with mild-to-moderate traumatic brain injury

Brain Inj. 2012 May 9

Bay E, Kalpakjian C, Giordani B.

Primary objective: This study sought to determine to what extent chronic stress,
depression and neurobehavioural consequences explained post-TBI subjective memory
complaints (SMC). Research design: An observational, cross-sectional design was
used. Methods and procedures: One hundred and fifty-nine persons who were 1-36
months post-injury provided data using interviews, chart reviews and surveys.
Predictor variables included the Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression
Scale (CES-D), Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-14) and sub-scales of the NFI. Main
outcomes and results: SMC, according to the Neurobehavioural Functioning
Inventory (NFI), was the main outcome variable. SMC could best be explained by
increased age, months-since-injury, chronic situational stress and the frequency
of somatic and communication difficulties, not depression (R(2 )= 0.780,
F = 97.39, [8, 152], p < 0.001). These findings suggest that, for persons in the
chronic phase of recovery from their TBI, specific determinants other than
general adjustment issues may apply. These include: increased chronic stress,
age, somatic symptoms and communication difficulties. Conclusion: Self-reported
chronic situational stress is positively associated with self-reported memory
complaints, as well as somatic and communication difficulties. The causal
ordering of these relationships would be best understood with prospective designs
using biological correlates of chronic stress to advance understanding of
post-TBI depression in older adults.

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