Prevalence and predictors of poor recovery from mild traumatic brain injury

Amanda R. Rabinowitz, Xiaoqi Li, Stephen R. Mccauley, Elisabeth A. Wilde, Amanda Barnes, Gerri Hanten, Donna Mendez, James J. Mccarthy, Harvey S. Levin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although most patients with mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) recover within 3 months, a subgroup of patients experience persistent symptoms. Yet, the prevalence and predictors of persistent dysfunction in patients with mTBI remain poorly understood. In a longitudinal study, we evaluated predictors of symptomatic and cognitive dysfunction in adolescents and young adults with mTBI, compared with two control groups - patients with orthopedic injuries and healthy uninjured individuals. Outcomes were assessed at 3 months post-injury. Poor symptomatic outcome was defined as exhibiting a symptom score higher than 90% of the orthopedic control (OC) group, and poor cognitive outcome was defined as exhibiting cognitive performance poorer than 90% of the OC group. At 3 months post-injury, more than half of the patients with mTBI (52%) exhibited persistently elevated symptoms, and more than a third (36.4%) exhibited poor cognitive outcome. The rate of high symptom report in mTBI was markedly greater than that of typically developing (13%) and OC (17%) groups; the proportion of those with poor cognitive performance in the mTBI group exceeded that of typically developing controls (15.8%), but was similar to that of the OC group (34.9%). Older age at injury, female sex, and acute symptom report were predictors of poor symptomatic outcome at 3 months. Socioeconomic status was the only significant predictor of poor cognitive outcome at 3 months.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1488-1496
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of neurotrauma
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015


  • cognitive function
  • human studies
  • recovery
  • traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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