Base rates of post-concussive symptoms in a nonconcussed multicultural sample

Arch Clin Neuropsychol. 2011 Aug;26(5):461-5. doi: 10.1093/arclin/acr021. Epub 2011 Jun 4.


The purpose of this preliminary study was to investigate differences in base rates of post-concussion syndrome (PCS) symptomatology in healthy individuals separated by cultural identity and language. In this study, we sought to determine if differences exist in terms of base-rate endorsement of PCS symptomatology in healthy individuals and whether culture and language-based specific clusters of PCS symptomatology exist in healthy individuals. A total of 151 participants, consisting of 33 Caucasians, 49 Chinese, Filipinos, and Southeast Asians, 43 Arabs, West Asians, and South Asians, and 26 participants of African descent completed four questionnaires and two subtests of a test of verbal ability. We found that the occurrence of PCS symptoms did not differ by culture and language-based groups in general, but that there were differences between groups in the base rates of individual symptom endorsement. Our preliminary findings illustrate that cultural and linguistic background may play a moderating role in the endorsement of PCS symptomatology and that false-positive conclusions may be reached disproportionally between groups. Our results underscore the importance of considering the influence of culture and language, in conjunction with a growing list of factors that can influence, maintain, and/or mimic persistent PCS.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison*
  • Ethnicity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Language*
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Post-Concussion Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Post-Concussion Syndrome / ethnology
  • Post-Concussion Syndrome / psychology*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult