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J Rehabil Med. 2017 Mar 6;49(3):228-233. doi: 10.2340/16501977-2190.

Long-term mental fatigue after traumatic brain injury and impact on employment status.

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Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, 41345 Gothenburg, Sweden.



Long-term mental fatigue following traumatic brain injury is endorsed as one of the most distressing symptoms, interfering considerably with return to work and social life. The objective of this cross-sectional study was to estimate the prevalence of long-term mental fatigue after traumatic brain injury and to evaluate its association with employment status.


All patients (age range 19-65 years) diagnosed with traumatic brain injury irrespective of severity at Kungälv Hospital, Kungälv, Sweden, over a period of 5 years (n = 613) were invited by post to respond to questions about their injury, employment status and complete a questionnaire about mental fatigue, the Mental Fatigue Scale (MFS).


A response rate of 38% was achieved. Among respondents, 39% scored above the MFS cut-off of 10.5. Higher MFS scores were associated with decreased employment status (p < 0.001). Rating on the MFS was higher for women, for those with a longer initial duration of acute post-traumatic brain injury symptoms, and for those who had previously experienced a traumatic brain injury. No association was found between mental fatigue and age, severity of injury, or time since injury.


Long-term mental fatigue was frequent among people who had experienced a traumatic brain injury, and a higher rating on the MFS was associated with decreased employment status.

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