Postconcussional disorder following mild to moderate traumatic brain injury: anxiety, depression, and social support as risk factors and comorbidities

J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. 2001 Dec;23(6):792-808. doi: 10.1076/jcen.23.6.792.1016.


Previous studies of postconcussional disorder (PCD) have utilized a dimensional approach (i.e., number and/or severity ratings of symptoms) to study postconcussional symptoms. This study used a syndromal approach (modified form of the DSM-IV criteria) for investigating risk factors for developing PCD, 3-months postinjury. The head trauma requirement was waived in order to determine specificity of symptoms to traumatic brain injury. Preliminary results from this ongoing study indicated significant risk factors including female gender, poor social support, and elevated self-reported depressive symptoms at 1-month postinjury. Comorbidities included concurrent diagnosis of major depressive disorder and/or posttraumatic stress disorder. Hispanics were significantly less likely to develop PCD than other racial/ethnic groups. PCD resulted more frequently from motor vehicle accidents and assaults. Screening tests for PCD risk factors/comorbidities performed shortly after injury (i.e., during routine follow-up clinic appointments) coupled with appropriate referrals for psychoeducational interventions and support groups may avoid prolonged loss of productivity and poor perceived quality of life in these patients.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affective Symptoms / etiology*
  • Brain Concussion / complications*
  • Brain Concussion / epidemiology
  • Brain Concussion / psychology
  • Comorbidity
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Sampling Studies
  • Sex Factors
  • Social Support*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / epidemiology*
  • Unconsciousness / diagnosis
  • Unconsciousness / etiology
  • Unconsciousness / psychology