This study investigated the relationship between self-reports of postconcussional symptoms, depression, and anxiety in neurologically normal young adults and recovered victims of mild head injuries (MHI). The participants were 496 young adults with no history of MHI or depression, 56 neurologically normal individuals with clinical depression, and 40 people with history of MHI. All completed the Beaumont Postconcussional Index (BPCI), Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II), and the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI). Groups were compared on frequency and severity of postconcussional symptoms, as well as general symptoms. Analysis revealed high correlations between scores on the Postconcussional Index (PCI) and the BDI-II (r=0.68) as well as between PCI and BAI (r=0.64). Correlations between BDI-II, BAI, and the General Symptom Index (GSI) were modest, but significant (r=0.44 and 0.48, respectively). MHI participants reported minimally higher scores on the PCI than the normative group. However, depressed individuals exhibited substantially higher endorsement of PCI symptoms and modestly higher endorsement of GSI symptoms than either the normative or MHI groups. The potential rule that depression can have in producing, exacerbating, and maintaining PCS-like symptoms must be considered when evaluating and treating victims of MHI.

Author notes

Portions of this article were presented at the 26th Annual Meeting of the International Neuropsychological Society, Honolulu, HI, February 1998.