Objective: Many factors unrelated to mild traumatic brain injury can cause, maintain, or mimic self-reported postconcussion symptoms. The purpose of this study is to examine the prevalence and stability of postconcussion-like symptoms in a healthy military sample. Method: Participants were 215 U.S. active duty Service Members (Age: M = 34 years, Range = 19–59; 82.7% men; 59.4% Caucasian) recruited from Fort Bragg, NC. Participants completed the Neurobehavioral Symptom Inventory (NSI) twice, separated by approximately 30 days. Results: The test-retest reliability for the NSI total score was r = .77. There were no significant differences between baseline and follow-up for the 22 individual symptoms (all p's >.05; Cohen's d = .01 to d = .15). The majority had NSI total scores that fell within ±1-5 points (86.5%) from baseline to follow-up, but some had scores that differed by ±6-10 points (10.2%) or >10 points (3.3%). Based on symptoms endorsed as ‘mild or greater’, 13.5% of the sample met DSM-IV symptom criteria for postconcussional disorder (PCD) at baseline, and 14.9% at follow-up. The large majority (91.2%) reported consistent symptoms from baseline to follow-up, though 3.7% “improved” and 5.1% reported new symptoms. Based on symptoms endorsed as ‘moderate or higher’, 2.3% met PCD criteria at baseline and 4.2% at follow-up. Conclusion: Postconcussion-like symptoms are not unique to mild TBI, and they are commonly reported by healthy soldiers. It is important for clinicians to use normative data, and consider alternative explanations for postconcussion symptom reporting, when evaluating a service member or veteran following a remote mild TBI.
Non-Specificity, and some Instability, of ‘Postconcussion-like’ Symptom Reporting in a Healthy U.S. Military Sample
R Lange, G Iverson, J Arrieux, E Dennison, J Bailie, B Ivins, W Cole; A-66
Non-Specificity, and some Instability, of ‘Postconcussion-like’ Symptom Reporting in a Healthy U.S. Military Sample. Arch Clin Neuropsychol 2015; 30 (6): 509-510. doi: 10.1093/arclin/acv047.66
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