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Brain Inj. 1996 Jul;10(7):487-97.

Prevalence of impairments 5 years after a head injury, and their relationship with disabilities and outcome.

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Département d'Anesthésie Réanimation, Hôpital Pellegrin, Bordeaux, France.


To determine what consequences cognitive, behavioural or somatic impairments had on disabilities and recovery after a head injury (HI), a population-based sample of 231 adult patients was studied 5 years after an HI. Eighty lower-limb-injured (LLI) patients were considered as controls. Sixty-four LLI and 176 HI patients were reviewed (114 minor, 35 moderate, and 27 severe HI). Prevalence values of headaches (44-54%), dizziness (26-37%), and anxiety (47-63%) were not significantly different in the three HI severity groups, but were significantly lower in patients with an isolated limb injury (12-15%). Memory problems and depressive mood increased with injury severity. Mental impairments were frequent in severe HI patients (18-40% of patients). In minor and moderate HI patients, most disabilities were related to associated injuries. According to the Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS), recovery was not considered as good because of somatic, behavioural or cognitive complaints in 2.5%, 5.7% and 59.2% of surviving patients in each of the above HI groups. Somatic or behavioural complaints may have considerable consequences in some minor HI patients, and the long-term management of certain patients needs improvement because these impairments are misunderstood.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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