Assessment method influences the severity and type of symptoms reported after self-reported mild traumatic brain injury

Edmed, Shannon, Sullivan, Karen A., Allan, Alicia C., & Smith, Simon S. (2015) Assessment method influences the severity and type of symptoms reported after self-reported mild traumatic brain injury. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 37(6), pp. 641-652.

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  • To investigate the influence of assessment method (spontaneous report versus checklist) on the report of postconcussive syndrome (PCS) symptoms after mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). Setting: Community. Participants: Thirty-six participants (58% female) with postacute self-reported mTBI (i.e., sustained 1–6 months prior to participation) and 36 age-, gender-, and ethnicity-matched controls with no history of mTBI.


  • Cross-sectional.

Main measures

  • Spontaneous symptom report from open-ended questions and checklist endorsed symptoms from the Neurobehavioral Symptom Inventory (both measures administered online).


  • Assessment method significantly affected individual symptom item frequencies (small to large effects), the number of symptoms reported, the total severity score, domain severity scores (i.e., somatic/sensory, cognitive, and affective symptom domains), and the number of participants who met a PCS caseness criterion (large effects; checklist > spontaneous report). The types of symptoms that were different between the groups differed for the assessment methods: Compared to controls, the nonclinical mTBI group spontaneously reported significantly greater somatic/sensory and cognitive domain severity scores, whilst no domain severity scores differed between groups when endorsed on a checklist.


  • Assessment method can alter the number, severity, and types of symptoms reported by individuals who have sustained an mTBI and could potentially influence clinical decisions.

Impact and interest:

1 citations in Scopus
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ID Code: 97657
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1080/13803395.2015.1038984
ISSN: 1380-3395
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Deposited On: 26 Jul 2016 23:48
Last Modified: 27 Jul 2016 21:37

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