A subset of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) patients experience post-concussion symptoms. When a cluster of post-concussion symptoms persists for over three months, it is referred to as post-concussion syndrome (PCS). Little is known about the association between PCS and Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) after mTBI. The aims of this study were to assess the implications of PCS on HRQoL six months after mTBI and the relationship between PCS and HRQoL domains. A prospective observational cohort study was conducted among a sample of mTBI patients. Follow-up postal questionnaires at six months after emergency department (ED) admission included socio-demographic information, the Rivermead Post-Concussion Symptoms Questionnaire (RPQ), and HRQoL measured with the 36-item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) and the Perceived Quality of Life Scale (PQoL). In total, 731 mTBI patients were included, of whom 38.7% were classified as suffering from PCS. Patients with PCS had significantly lower scores on all SF-36 domains, lower physical and mental component summary scores and lower mean PQoL scores compared to patients without PCS. All items of the RPQ were negatively correlated to all SF-36 domains and PQoL subscale scores, indicating that reporting problems on any of the RPQ symptoms was associated with a decrease on different aspects of an individuals’ HRQoL. To conclude, PCS is common following mTBI and patients with PCS have a considerably lower HRQoL. A better understanding of the relationship between PCS and HRQoL and possible mediating factors in this relationship could improve intervention strategies, the recovery process for mTBI patients and benchmarking.

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Keywords Post-concussion syndrome, Quality of life, Rivermead post-concussion symptoms questionnaire, SF-36, Traumatic brain injury
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.injury.2018.12.002, hdl.handle.net/1765/113337
Journal Injury: International Journal of the Care of the Injured
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Citation
Voormolen, D.C. (Daphne C.), Polinder, S, Von Steinbuechel, N, Vos, P.E, Cnossen, M.C, & Haagsma, J.A. (Juanita A.). (2018). The association between post-concussion symptoms and health-related quality of life in patients with mild traumatic brain injury. Injury: International Journal of the Care of the Injured. doi:10.1016/j.injury.2018.12.002