Objective: Fear avoidance behavior after a concussion or mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is associated with a number of adverse outcomes, such as higher symptom burden, emotional distress, and disability. The Fear Avoidance Behavior after Traumatic Brain Injury Questionnaire (FAB-TBI) is a recently developed and validated self-report measure of fear avoidance after mTBI. The objective of this study was to derive clinical normative data for the FAB-TBI. To determine whether demographic stratification was necessary and to further support clinical interpretation, we also explored associations between fear avoidance behavior and demographic and injury variables.
Setting: Five concussion clinics in Canada.
Participants: Adults who sustained an mTBI (N = 563).
Main measures: Participants completed the Fear Avoidance Behavior after Traumatic Brain Injury Questionnaire (FAB-TBI) and measures of postconcussion symptom burden (Rivermead Postconcussion Symptoms Questionnaire, Sport Concussion Assessment Tool-5) at clinic intake.
Results: Generalized linear modeling revealed that females reported more fear avoidance than males (95% CI = 0.66 to 2.75), indicating that FAB-TBI normative data should be stratified by sex. Differences between recruitment sites on FAB-TBI scores were reduced but not eliminated by controlling for potential confounds. Loss of consciousness (95% CI =0.61 to 2.76) and higher postconcussion symptom burden (95% CI = 0.79 to 1.03) were also associated with higher FAB-TBI scores, but time since injury was not (95% = CI -0.4 to 0.03). Tables to convert FAB-TBI raw scores to Rasch scores to percentiles are presented.
Conclusion: These findings support clinical interpretation of the FAB-TBI and further study of fear avoidance after mTBI.
Copyright © 2021 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.