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Ciba Found Symp. 1975;(34):141-57.

Assessment of the psychosocial outcome after severe head injury.


Rehabilitation services for the severely brain injured are often inadequate and one of the chief factors responsible is undue emphasis on the contribution of physical disability with scant attention to the serious emotional and intellectual handicaps incurred. Weakness, spasticity and dysphasis tend to recover eventually to a variable extent but mental handicap is often the cause of serious and lasting disablement. For a determination of the outcome of severe brain injury in terms of its effect on daily living, the relation between physical disability, mental handicap and social reintegration has been assessed quantitatively. Three assessment scales have been constructed and used in a study of 58 severely brain damaged patients. This revealed that the duration of post-traumatic amnesia correlates highly with the degree of social, mental and physical disability incurred. Daily living was affected primarily by impairment of intellect and personality and, to a lesser extent, by physical incapacity, but only rarely by the developments of symptoms of mental illness. Using the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, the time course of cognitive recovery was also assessed. Recovery curves and the relation of cognitive impairment to social and physical handicap will be demonstrated.

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