Presence of post-concussion syndrome symptoms in patients with chronic pain vs mild traumatic brain injury

Brain Inj. 2003 Mar;17(3):199-206. doi: 10.1080/0269905021000030823.


Primary objective: Post-concussion syndrome (PCS) is a controversial diagnosis, in part because many symptoms may be present in other conditions, such as chronic pain (CP). However, direct comparisons between people with CP and mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) are limited. The purpose of this study was to compare people with CP and MTBI on a measure of PCS symptoms.

Design: Group comparison between patients with CP and MTBI on the Rivermead Post-Concussion Questionnaire (RPCQ).

Methods: Sixty-three patients with CP and 32 with MTBI were evaluated at the authors' institutions. Patients completed the RPCQ as part of their initial evaluation.

Results: No group differences were found for total RPCQ scores. There were some differences in the proportion of patients endorsing specific symptoms. However, most people with CP endorsed symptoms consistent with PCS.

Conclusions: PCS symptoms are not unique to MTBI, and may be seen in conditions such as CP.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Injuries / complications*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Humans
  • Insurance, Disability
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / complications*
  • Post-Concussion Syndrome / economics
  • Post-Concussion Syndrome / etiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires