Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 51 Number 6, 2014
   Pages 933 — 950

Abstract — Subjective cognitive complaints and neuropsychological test performance following military-related traumatic brain injury

Louis M. French, PsyD;1-2 Rael T. Lange, PhD;1,3* Tracey A. Brickell, D.Psych1-2

1Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center, Bethesda, MD; Neurology, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, MD; and Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine, Bethesda, MD; 2Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD; 3The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Abstract — This study examined the relation between neuropsychological test performance and self-reported cognitive complaints following traumatic brain injury (TBI). Participants were 109 servicemembers from the U.S. military who completed a neuropsychological evaluation within the first 2 yr following mild–severe TBI. Measures included the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI), Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptom Checklist-Civilian version (PCL-C), Neurobehavioral Symptom Inventory (NSI), and 17 select measures from a larger neurocognitive test battery that corresponded to three self-reported cognitive complaints from the NSI (i.e., memory, attention/concentration, and processing speed/organization). Self-reported cognitive complaints were significantly correlated with psychological distress (PCL-C total: r = 0.50–0.58; half the PAI clinical scales: r = 0.40–0.58). In contrast, self-reported cognitive complaints were not significantly correlated with overall neurocognitive functioning (with the exception of five measures). There was a low rate of agreement between neurocognitive test scores and self-reported cognitive complaints. For the large minority of the sample (38.5%–45.9%), self-reported cognitive complaints were reported in the presence of neurocognitive test scores that fell within normal limits. In sum, self-reported cognitive complaints were not associated with neurocognitive test performance, but rather were associated with psychological distress. These results provide information to contextualize cognitive complaints following TBI.

Key words: cognitive complaints, military, Neurobehavioral Symptom Inventory, neurocognitive measures, Personality Assessment Inventory, psychological distress, PTSD Checklist, self-reported symptoms, servicemembers, traumatic brain injury.


View HTML ¦ View PDF ¦ Contents Vol. 51, No.6

This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
French LM, Lange RT, Brickell TA. Subjective cognitive complaints and neuropsychological test performance following military-related traumatic brain injury. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2014;51(6):933–50.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1682/JRRD.2013.10.0226

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