Objectives: To evaluate the frequency of post-concussion symptoms and prevalence and risk factors of post-concussion syndrome (PCS) in the general population, investigate the association between the Rivermead Post-Concussion Symptoms Questionnaire (RPQ) and self-perceived health, and evaluate differences between three European countries. Methods: A web-based survey including the RPQ and EQ-5D was conducted among representative samples in three European countries. Results: A total of 11,759 respondents completed the questionnaire. The most frequently reported symptom was fatigue (49.9%). Almost half (45.1%) of the respondents were classified as having PCS considering rating score 2 (three RPQ items with score ≥ 2) as a cut-off. Chronic health complaints were found as a significant risk factor for PCS. All items of the RPQ were positively correlated with the EQ-5D and the strongest positive correlation (0.633, p<0.001) was between RPQ item ‘feeling depressed or tearful’ and EQ-5D domain ‘anxiety/depression’. Conclusions: We found a high frequency of post-concussion-like symptoms and PCS in the general population, indicating that these symptoms are not specific for patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI), and PCS is not a unique syndrome after TBI. Therefore, the use of post-concussion symptoms and PCS as outcome following mild TBI should be interpreted with caution.

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Keywords Post-concussion symptoms, traumatic brain injury, post-concussion syndrome, quality of life, rivermead post-concussion symptoms questionnaire
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1080/02699052.2019.1607557, hdl.handle.net/1765/117111
Journal Brain Injury
Citation
Voormolen, D.C., Cnossen, M.C, Polinder, S, Gravesteijn, B.Y., von Steinbuechel, N., Real, R.G.L., & Haagsma, J.A. (2019). Prevalence of post-concussion-like symptoms in the general population in Italy, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Brain Injury. doi:10.1080/02699052.2019.1607557