OBJECTIVE: Post-concussion syndrome (PCS) occurs following mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). Patients with mTBI are often assessed using self-report instruments that rely on perception of current symptoms compared to how they felt and functioned pre-injury. The objective was to examine reliability of patients' post-injury reporting of their pre-injury symptoms. METHODS: We included two control groups (trauma patients without brain injury history and healthy controls) who were recruited at an outpatient surgical clinic and among the working and social environment of the researchers, respectively. The Head Injury Symptom Checklist (HISC) was used to assess pre-injury and current symptoms at four time points post injury. We included 836 patients with mTBIs, 191 trauma patients without brain injury history, and 100 healthy controls. RESULTS: Patients with mTBI reported significantly more pre-injury symptoms than both control groups (p < .001). Forty-five percent of patients with mTBI were inconsistent in their pre-injury ratings across four assessments. Patients with post-injury PCS reported much greater pre-injury symptoms and were more often inconsistent. CONCLUSION: Accurately assessing PCS by comparing pre with post-injury complaints is difficult, and may have implications for diagnosis when using self-report instruments. Therefore, post-injury PCS diagnosis should be interpreted with caution and PCS should ideally be examined using clinical examination.

Additional Metadata
Keywords good-old-days bias, post-concussion symptom, post-concussion syndrome, Traumatic brain injury
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1080/02699052.2020.1761563, hdl.handle.net/1765/128131
Journal Brain Injury
Citation
Voormolen, D.C. (Daphne C.), Cnossen, M.C, Spikman, J. (Joke), Polinder, S, Iverson, G.L. (Grant L.), de Koning, M. (Myrthe), & van der Naalt, J. (2020). Rating of pre-injury symptoms over time in patients with mild traumatic brain injury: the good-old-days bias revisited. Brain Injury, 1–9. doi:10.1080/02699052.2020.1761563