Objective: To evaluate the sensitivity of three recently developed questionnaires to mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI)-related effects.
Design: Comparison of an MTBI group, within 3 weeks of injury, to a normal control group.
Setting: Outpatient rehabilitation clinic.
Subjects: 120 MTBI patients and 120 age, education, sex, and preinjury socioeconomic status-matched normal control subjects.
Main outcome measures: The Problem Checklist (PCL) from the New York Head Injury Family Interview to assess MTBI symptoms, the Short Form-36 Health Survey (SF-36) to assess functional burden associated with health problems, and the Community Integration Questionnaire (CIQ) to assess home, social, and productive activities.
Results: Patients' self-ratings on the PCL and SF-36, but not the CIQ, were generally worse than those of the normal controls. The largest differences were obtained on SF-36 measures that appear to assess musculoskeletal injury effects.
Conclusions: The PCL and SF-36 show promise as sensitive measures of MTBI-related effects. The SF-36 may be particularly useful in evaluating associated musculoskeletal injuries, which might otherwise be overlooked by MTBI health care providers.