Fatigue after closed head injury




Allison, Deborah Sue

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Closed head injuries are common occurrences in North America. Subsequent to a closed head injury (CHI), there are a number of symptoms which are commonly seen, one of which is fatigue. No studies were found which specifically address the issue of fatigue following CHI. Much remains unknown about this symptom, such as the percentage of individuals who experience fatigue as a problem after a CHI, the relationship between the degree of fatigue experienced and the severity of the injury, and the length of time that this problem persists following the injury. The present study explores and describes the problem of fatigue in a population of individuals following a CHI. In this study, 28 individuals who had experienced a CHI (14 with minor injuries and 14 with severe injuries) were each paired with a control subject who had not had a CHI and who was matched to the CHI subject in terms of age, sex, and personality characteristics. All subjects were asked to complete two brief questionnaires, two computerized tasks, and two self-report measures. All 28 subject pairs completed the first four measures and 22 of the pairs completed and returned the last two. The results showed a highly significant difference between the CHI and control groups on all measures. There were no differences between the CHI subgroups (minor end severe) on any of the measures, nor was there a relationship found between length of post traumatic amnesia or length of time post-injury and any of the measures, There was an interaction between the results on the measure of depression and four of the other five variables Further analysis demonstrated differences between the CHI and control groups on all measures after the depression scores were taken into account. These results indicate that fatigue is a serious, long lasting problem for this groups of individuals who have experienced a CHI. Suggestions for future research and for treatment are discussed.



Head, wounds and injuries