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Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2001 Dec;103(4):254-9.

Cross-cultural study of symptom expectation following minor head injury in Canada and Greece.

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Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospital of Patras, Patras, Greece.



The purpose of the present study is to compare the frequency and nature of expected symptoms in Greece (a country where the chronic post-concussive syndrome is largely unknown) with that in Canada.


A symptom checklist was administered to two subject groups selected from local companies in Patras, Greece, and Edmonton, Canada, respectively. Subjects were asked to imagine having suffered head trauma with loss of consciousness in a motor vehicle accident and to check off symptoms, they expected might arise from the injury. For symptoms they anticipated, they were asked to select the period of time they expected those symptoms to persist.


In both the Greek and Edmontonian groups, the pattern of symptoms anticipated closely resembled the acute symptoms commonly reported by accident victims with minor head injury. Yet, while many Edmontonians also anticipated symptoms to last months or years, very few Greek subjects selected any symptoms as being likely to persist in a chronic manner.


In Greece, despite the frequent experience of minor head injury in motor vehicle accidents, there is a very low rate of expectation of any chronic sequelae from such an injury, contrasting greatly with the response shown in Canada, where the prevalence of the chronic post-concussive syndrome is higher. Symptom expectation in some countries may be an important factor in the development of the chronic post-concussive syndrome.

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