Abstract

Objective

The current study sought to determine whether the Wechsler Test of Adult Reading (WTAR) provides a stable estimate of premorbid intellectual ability in acutely injured patients recovering from traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Method

A total of 135 participants (43 mild TBI [mTBI], 40 moderate/severe TBI [msevTBI], 52 healthy controls) were administered the WTAR at 1 and 12 months post-injury.

Results

Despite similar demographic profiles, participants with msevTBI performed significantly worse than controls on the WTAR at both time points. Moreover, the msevTBI group had a significant improvement in WTAR performance over the 1-year period. In contrast, those participants with mTBI did not significantly differ from healthy controls and both the mTBI and control groups demonstrated stability on the WTAR over time.

Conclusions

Results indicate that word-reading tests may underestimate premorbid intelligence during the immediate recovery period for patients with msevTBI. Clinicians should consider alternative estimation measures in this TBI subpopulation.

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