Post-coma disturbance and post-traumatic amnesia as nonlinear predictors of cognitive outcome following severe closed head injury

Findings from the Westmead head injury project

C. Haslam*, J. Batchelor, M. R. Fearnside, S. A. Haslam, S. Hawkins, E. Kenway

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Citations (Scopus)


This study sought to identify combinations of early neurological variables which best predict cognitive outcome 12 months after severe head injury. At the time of admission patients were assessed on seven neurological indices. Twelve months later a battery of neuropsychological tests examining recent memory functioning and speed of information processing was administered. Recent memory functioning was best predicted by a combination of post-coma disturbance (PCD; i.e. the duration of post-traumatic amnesia, PTA, minus the duration of coma) and presence of subarachnoid haemorrhage (multiple r == 0.54, p<0.001). Speed of information processing was best predicted by the duration of PTA (r==0.35,P<0.01). However, thesc conclusions were based on square root transformation of PCD and PTA variables. The success of this transformation in assisting prediction confirms suggestions that the relationship between PTA and cognitive outcome is nonlinear.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)519-528
Number of pages10
JournalBrain Injury
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes


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