Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 47 Number 6, 2010
   Pages 521 — 530

Abstract — Self-reported cognitive symptoms following mild traumatic brain injury are poorly associated with neuropsychological performance in OIF/OEF veterans

Robert J. Spencer, PhD;1 Lauren L. Drag, PhD;2 Sara J. Walker, PhD;1 Linas A. Bieliauskas, PhD1-2*

1Department of Mental Health Services, Department of Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare System, Ann Arbor, MI; 2Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI

Abstract — Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is not uncommon among Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom (OIF/OEF) veterans, and many individuals within this group report lingering cognitive difficulties following their injury. For Department of Veterans Affairs clinicians, an accurate assessment of cognitive symptoms is important in providing appropriate clinical care. Although self-assessment is commonly employed to screen for difficulties in cognitive functioning, little is known about the accuracy of self-report in this population. This study collected cognitive, psychiatric, and self-report data from 105 OIF/OEF veterans with mTBI to examine the relationship between self-reported cognitive functioning and objective neuropsychological test performance. Additionally, clinicians who frequently work with OIF/OEF veterans were asked to predict the magnitude of these associations. Self-reported cognitive functioning was not significantly correlated with objective cognitive abilities, suggesting that objective neuropsychological testing should be used when cognitive weakness is suspected. Perceived cognitive deficits were associated with depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder, illustrating the additional importance of adequate assessment and treatment of psychiatric symptoms. Clinicians tended to overestimate the association between self-report and test performance.

Key words: anxiety, brain injury, cognition, depression, insight, military, neuropsychological assessment, self-report, traumatic psychometrics, veterans.

This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
Spencer RJ, Drag LL, Walker SJ, Bieliauskas LA. Self-reported cognitive symptoms following mild traumatic brain injury are poorly associated with neuropsychological performance in OIF/OEF veterans. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2010;47(6): 521-30.
DOI:10.1682/JRRD.2009.11.0181

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Last Reviewed or Updated  Thursday, August 19, 2010 2:06 PM

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