Predictors of postconcussion symptom complex in community dwelling male veterans

J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2003 Nov;9(7):1001-15. doi: 10.1017/S1355617703970044.


The presence of a persistent postconcussion symptom complex (PPCSC) was examined in a non-referred sample of male veterans with a history of mild head injury and a comparison group without a history of head injury. Hierarchical logistic regression procedures were used to determine possible predictors of PPCSC using variables supported by previous research (i.e., preexisting psychiatric difficulties, demographic and social support variables, and history of an accidental injurious event). Although PPCSC was common in all groups (23% of the total sample), a significantly greater proportion of individuals in the mild head injury with loss of consciousness group (37.2%) had PPCSC compared with three other groups (head injury without loss of consciousness = 26.1%; motor vehicle accident without head injury = 23%; and control = 17.3%). However, the most salient predictors of PPCSC were early life psychiatric difficulties such as anxiety or depression, limited social support, lower intelligence, and interactions among these variables. The predictive value of loss of consciousness was significant, but low (1.4% of unique variance). The findings provide support for the premise that PPCSC is mediated in part by individual resilience, preexisting psychological status, and psychosocial support.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / psychology
  • Adult
  • Brain Concussion / complications
  • Brain Concussion / epidemiology
  • Brain Concussion / psychology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / complications
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / epidemiology
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / psychology*
  • Demography
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Forecasting*
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Intelligence Tests
  • International Classification of Diseases / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / etiology
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Odds Ratio
  • Psychometrics
  • Regression Analysis
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Sampling Studies
  • Social Support
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Unconsciousness / physiopathology
  • Unconsciousness / psychology
  • Verbal Behavior
  • Veterans*