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Depression and neuropsychological functioning in mild traumatic brain injury

by Ruttan, Lesley Ann

Abstract (Summary)
The present study examined the relationship between depression (as measured by the Dysthymia scale of the Millon Clinical Multiaxiai Inventory-II MCMI-11 and the Depression, DEP, and Harris-Lingoes Depression scales of the Minnesota Multiphasic Penonality Inventory-2 MMPI-2), and neuropsychological functioning (as measured by the Categocy Test, Logical Merno., Visual Reproduction, T rail Making Test B. and Consonant Triçrams) in individuals who have experienced a mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI). Additionali y, the influence of gender upon the depressiodcognition relationship was esamined. These issues were examined in two independent patient samples using the clinical files from two private clinical neuropsychology practices wi th one goup (n = 72) having completed the MCMI-11 and the other group (n = 50) having cornpleted the MMPI-2. A series of hierarchical regession analyses indicated that depression, as measured by scales of both the MCMI-II and MMPI-2, was largely independent of cognitive performance with the exception of a modest inverse relationship (p c .05) noted bctween Logical Memory and depression, as rneasured by the MCMI-II. Depression was common in both samples for males as well as fernales and the depressiodcognition relationship did not differ according to gender. Reports of pain in both samples were even more common than depression and supplementary analyses revealed an inverse relationship between pain and cobwitive performance on verbal and visual memory tasks. Future research should incorporate prospective research designs using larger samples whereby consecutive series of MTBI patients (e-g., presenting at a hospital emergency department) are followed from time of injury and then at selected postinjury dates. Patients enrolled could then eventually be divided into those with and those without ongoing cornplaints in order io determine whether neuropsychological deficits seen in patients with chronic symptomatology are also seen in MTBl patients who do not repon postconcussive difficulties and require ongoinç care. It would also be beneficial to compare the two groups in terms of psychological factors (e.g., depression, ansiety. hypochondriasis, etc.) as well as pain level in relation to cognitive functioning. Enhanced knowledge of factors that contribute to persistent post-MTBI symptorns should assist in the development of preventative strategies which could be directed at 'high risk' candidates for chronic sequelae.
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Source Type:Master's Thesis

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Date of Publication:01/01/1998

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