Coping resources and the development of persistent postconcussional syndrome after a mild traumatic brain injury
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This prospective study was designed to examine the effect of total coping resources, as measured by the Coping Resources Inventory, on the development of persistent postconcussional syndrome. Other variables – loss of consciousness, subjective life stress, litigation after the injury, prior head injury, and the receipt of information about what post-injury symptoms are common – were examined as well. Thirty-eight participants, ranging in age from 18 to 55, completed the Postconcussion Syndrome Checklist and the Coping Resources Inventory (for pre-trauma coping) within three weeks of being diagnosed with a concussion. They were contacted for a follow-up three months post-trauma and completed the Postconcussion Syndrome Checklist again along with a questionnaire listing the other study variables. It was expected that participants with more total coping resources would report fewer symptoms at the follow-up than those with fewer coping resources. No relationship was found between the total Coping Resources Inventory score and symptoms reported three months post-trauma. The other variables were examined, using multiple regression, to determine their significance as predictors for the amount of symptoms reported at follow-up. The only variable that was a significant predictor for symptoms at follow-up was the participant’s rating of subjective life stress. Limitations of the study are discussed and future areas of research are outlined.