Emergency department assessment of mild traumatic brain injury and the prediction of postconcussive symptoms: a 3-month prospective study

Joanne Sheedy*, Evelyn Harvey, Steven Faux, Gina Geffen, E. Arthur Shores

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    45 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    OBJECTIVE: To investigate the utility of a brief emergency department (ED) bedside screen for the prediction of postconcussive symptoms at 3 months following mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI). PARTICIPANTS: One hundred patients with MTBI (78% men; mean age = 33.6 years); 2 control groups (each n = 100), a "minor nonhead injury" group (77% men; mean age = 32.2 years) and an "uninjured ED visitor" group (78% men; mean age = 33.6 years). MAIN MEASURES: Brief measures of neuropsychological functioning, acute pain, and postural stability were collected in the ED; telephone follow-up at 3 months using the Rivermead Post-Concussion Symptoms Questionnaire was undertaken. RESULTS: Neuropsychological deficits, acute pain, and postural instability in the ED were significantly associated with postconcussive symptoms at 3-month follow-up. A regression formula using 3 easily obtainable measures obtained during acute stage of injury-immediate and delayed memory for 5 words and a visual analog scale score of acute headache-provided 80% sensitivity and 76% specificity for the prediction of clinically significant symptoms at 3 months postinjury. CONCLUSION: A small combination of variables assessable in the ED may predict MTBI patients likely to experience persistent postconcussive symptoms.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)333-343
    Number of pages11
    JournalJournal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation
    Volume24
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2009

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