Primary objective: To examine the cognitive functioning in patients with complicated mild traumatic brain injury immediately post-injury and at 1 and 3 months post-injury. RESEARCH DESIGN, METHODS, AND PROCEDURES: Between-group comparisons were adopted for this study. Specifically, both patients and healthy controls were administered neuropsychological assessments measuring attention, memory and executive functions at three time points.
Results: Findings indicate that patients performed significantly more poorly in information processing and divided attention, sustained attention, verbal recognition and verbal fluency immediately post-injury. While the information processing and divided attention of mild TBI patients improved at 1 month and returned to normal at 3 months post-injury, their sustained attention remained significantly poorer over the 3-month period.
Conclusions: Findings suggest that attention dysfunction is noticeable immediately following a mild TBI. Different attention functions appear to recover at a different pace over time, suggesting that the condition may have a differential impact on the different sub-types of attention.