A comparison of new and existing mild traumatic brain injury vignettes: recommendations for research into post-concussion syndrome

Brain Inj. 2013;27(1):19-30. doi: 10.3109/02699052.2012.698360.


Objective: To review and compare the mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) vignettes used in postconcussion syndrome (PCS) research, and to develop 3 new vignettes.

Method: The new vignettes were devised using World Health Organization (WHO) mTBI diagnostic criteria [1]. Each vignette depicted a very mild (VM), mild (M), or severe (S) brain injury. Expert review (N = 27) and readability analysis was used to validate the new vignettes and compare them to 5 existing vignettes.

Results: The response rate was 44%. The M vignette and existing vignettes were rated as depicting a mTBI; however, the fit-to-criteria of these vignettes differed significantly. The fit-to-criteria of the M vignette was as good as that of 3 existing vignettes and significantly better than 2 other vignettes. As expected, the VM and S vignettes were a poor fit-to-criteria.

Conclusions: These new vignettes will assist PCS researchers to test the limits of important etiology factors by varying the severity of depicted injuries.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Injury Severity Score
  • Male
  • Post-Concussion Syndrome* / epidemiology
  • Post-Concussion Syndrome* / etiology
  • Post-Concussion Syndrome* / physiopathology
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Research*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution