University of Washington

Department of Rehabilitation Medicine

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Association between posttraumatic stress, depression, and functional impairments in adolescents 24 months after traumatic brain injury


O'Connor SS, Zatzick DF, Wang J, Temkin N, Koepsell TD, Jaffe KM, Durbin D, Vavilala MS, Dorsch A, Rivara FP.



Publication Info:

J Trauma Stress, 25(3):264-271


The degree to which postinjury posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and/or depressive symptoms in adolescents are associated with cognitive and functional impairments at 12 and 24 months after traumatic brain injury (TBI) is not yet known. The current study used a prospective cohort design, with baseline assessment and 3-, 12-, and 24-month followup, and recruited a cohort of 228 adolescents ages 14-17 years who sustained either a TBI (n = 189) or an isolated arm injury (n = 39). Linear mixed-effects regression was used to assess differences in depressive and PTSD symptoms between TBI and arm-injured patients and to assess the association between 3-month PTSD and depressive symptoms and cognitive and functional outcomes. Results indicated that patients who sustained a mild TBI without intracranial hemorrhage reported significantly worse PTSD (Hedges g = 0.49, p = .01; Model R(2) = .38) symptoms across time as compared to the arm injured control group. Greater levels of PTSD symptoms were associated with poorer school (?(2) = .07, p = .03; Model R(2) = .36) and physical (?(2) = .11, p = .01; Model R(2) = .23) functioning, whereas greater depressive symptoms were associated with poorer school (?(2) = .06, p = .05; Model R(2) = .39) functioning.

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