Objective: Examine frequency, character and course of symptoms until 3 months after MTBI and the relation between symptoms and disability.
Methods: Prospective cohort study of 122 consecutive patients with MTBI. Symptom assessment after 1, 7 and 14 days and 3 months post-injury by use of Rivermead Post-concussional Questionnaire. Disability assessment by use of Rivermead Head Injury Follow-up Questionnaire.
Results: Patients reporting one or more symptoms declined from 86% on day 1 to 49% 3 months post-injury, when 25% also reported change in one or more domains of everyday activities. Poor memory, sleep disturbance and fatigue were most commonly reported. Symptom and disability scores were correlated (tau = 0.60; p < 0.001). Early symptom load correlated with late symptom load (tau = 0.38; p < 0.01).
Conclusions: Symptoms gradually decline post-injury. Symptoms correlate with disability at 3 months. Patients with early high symptom load are at risk for developing persisting complaints.