Primary objective: The aim of this study was to examine the effect of high chronic pain on (a) neuropsychological test performance and (b) self-reported emotional complaints in persons suffering from Postconcussional Disorders (PCD) after a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Research design: A two-group comparative research design was employed.
Methods and procedure: An outpatient sample of 66 patients with mild TBI and PCD using the Ruff Neurobehavioural Inventory (RNBI) and a neuropsychological test battery.
Main outcomes and results: According to ANOVAs, no significant between-group differences were found on neuropsychological test performances; however, the high pain group had significantly more emotional residuals; particularly elevated on the RNBI were the Anger and Aggression, Anxiety, Depression and Paranoia and Suspicion sub-scales. Furthermore, an ANOVA found participants of the high pain group reporting significantly higher impairments on the RNBI Cognitive, Physical and Quality-of-Life composite scores and several RNBI sub-scales compared to their pre-morbid functioning.
Conclusions: High chronic pain exacerbates the emotional aspect of PCD and, therefore, should be given special observance in treatment settings.