Associations between illness perceptions, coping styles and outcome after mild traumatic brain injury: preliminary results from a cohort study

Brain Inj. 2011;25(11):1126-38. doi: 10.3109/02699052.2011.607786. Epub 2011 Aug 26.


Purpose: The objective of this study was to examine associations between injury perceptions, coping, distress and outcome after mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI).

Design: A prospective observational study with repeated measures. This study reports results from the first of two study visits.

Participants: Participants (n = 147) were recruited within 3 months following presentation to a concussion clinic or an emergency department setting.

Methods: Clinical and demographic information was collected and participants completed a range of questionnaires (Revised Illness Perceptions Questionnaire, Brief COPE, Rivermead Post-Concussion Symptoms Questionnaire, Rivermead Follow-Up Questionnaire and HADS). Associations between independent variables and outcome were examined using odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals.

Results: Preliminary results suggested participants endorsing stronger beliefs about the injury identity (p < 0.05) and emotional impact (p < 0.01) had significantly greater odds of poor outcome at 3 months. There were also associations between higher educational attainment (p < 0.05), using active coping strategies (p < 0.06) and poor outcome.

Conclusions: These variables appeared important determinants of outcome early after MTBI and may help identify those at risk for slow recovery. Current reassurance-based interventions may be improved by targeting such variables.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adolescent
  • Aged
  • Brain Concussion / psychology*
  • Brain Concussion / rehabilitation
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Perception
  • Post-Concussion Syndrome / psychology*
  • Post-Concussion Syndrome / rehabilitation
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult