Abstract

Past studies suggest a variety of factors that influence the report of Postconcussion Syndrome (PCS) symptoms, including head injury, depression, pain, and subjective expectation. Participants included 190 undergraduates across 8 groups chosen to examine the relative contribution of these factors, as well as treatment-seeking behavior, in the report of both current and past PCS symptoms. Depressed persons, depressed persons receiving treatment, and headache sufferers receiving treatment reported elevated rates of PCS symptoms when compared to controls. Five of the eight groups reported experiencing more current than past symptoms. Head-injured persons and headache sufferers underestimated premorbid symptom rates relative to the baseline of controls. These findings are consistent with the growing number of studies that suggest non-neurologic factors may be more closely related to PCS symptom report than head injury status and raise further concern regarding use of self-reported PCS symptoms in the diagnosis of head injury.