Psychosexual and psychosocial sequelae of closed head injury

Brain Inj. Jul-Sep 1991;5(3):303-13. doi: 10.3109/02699059109008100.


A series of 36 patients who had been hospitalized following closed head injury (CHI) were followed up 4.06 (SD 3.71) years after the injury. Measures were taken of degree of psychosexual dysfunction (Golombok Rust Inventory of Sexual Satisfaction-GRISS), general psychiatric morbidity (General Health Questionnaire-GHQ), and clinical anxiety and depression (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale-HAD). These measures were completed by patients and partners. Resulting data revealed that 50% of male patients with current sexual partners produced psychosexual profiles that fell within the dysfunctional range. For both male patients and their partners, the chief psychosexual complaint was infrequency. Of the patients studied, 61% were classified (using the GHQ) as having degrees of emotional distress that would fall within the range of psychiatric 'caseness', while 25% of patients achieved HAD criteria for clinical anxiety and 22% met HAD criteria for depression. Of the partners, 41% met GHQ criteria for psychiatric 'caseness', 18% being classified using the HAD as anxiety cases and 6% as depression cases. No effects of severity of injury were observed on any of the main outcome measures. Age and time since injury were related to measures of psychosexual dysfunction. These results are discussed in relation to the existing literature on psychosocial outcome in closed head injury, and recommendations for therapeutic intervention are made.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / psychology*
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / rehabilitation
  • Depression / psychology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Head Injuries, Closed / psychology*
  • Head Injuries, Closed / rehabilitation
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Personality Inventory
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / psychology*
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / rehabilitation