The effect of varied test instructions on neuropsychological performance following mild traumatic brain injury : an investigation of ‘diagnosis threat’

Blaine, Hannah, Sullivan, Karen A., & Edmed, Shannon (2013) The effect of varied test instructions on neuropsychological performance following mild traumatic brain injury : an investigation of ‘diagnosis threat’. Journal of Neurotrauma, 30(16), pp. 1405-1414.

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Diagnosis threat is a psychosocial factor that has been proposed to contribute to poor outcomes following mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). This threat is thought to impair the cognitive test performance of individuals with mTBI because of negative injury stereotypes. University students (N= 45, 62.2% female) with a history of mTBI were randomly allocated to a diagnosis threat (DT, n=15), reduced threat (DT-reduced, n=15) or neutral (n=15) group. The reduced threat condition invoked a positive stereotype (i.e., that people with mTBI can perform well on cognitive tests). All participants were given neutral instructions before they completed baseline tests of: a) objective cognitive function across a number of domains; b) psychological symptoms; and, c) PCS symptoms, including self-reported cognitive and emotional difficulties. Participants then received either neutral, DT or DT-reduced instructions, before repeating the tests. Results were analyzed using separate mixed model ANOVAs; one for each dependent measure. The only significant result was for the 2 X 3 ANOVA on an objective test of attention/working memory, Digit Span, p<.05, such that the DT-reduced group performed better than the other groups, which were not different from each other. Although not consistent with predictions or earlier DT studies, the absence of group differences on most tests fits with several recent DT findings. The results of this study suggest that it is timely to reconsider the role of DT as a unique contributor to poor mTBI outcome.

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ID Code: 64527
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
DOI: 10.1089/neu.2013.2865
ISSN: 0897-7151
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Mary Ann Liebert
Deposited On: 17 Nov 2013 23:02
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2013 10:18

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