The experience of PTSD symptoms in individuals with traumatic brain injury
Objective. Previous empirical studies provide support for the development
of posttraumatic stressed is order following traumatic brain injury. This study
investigated the nature of intrusive symptoms experienced by people with traumatic
brain injury and explored the relationship between the severity of brain injury, PTSD
symptomse, motional adjustment and appraisals.
Method. Twenty four patients with traumatic brain injuries who had no
explicit memory for the accident were interviewed using the CAPS and were asked
to complete four questionnaires on PTSD severity, posttraumatic cognitions and
Results. A descriptive analysis of participants' reports indicated a
considerable number of intrusive symptoms among the sample with intrusions
relating to the accident, waking up in hospital and preoccupation regarding the
changes in people's lives following TBI. Correlations provided no evidence for an
association between PTSD severity and severity of brain injury. The findings
suggest that negative posttraumatic appraisals are associated with severity of PTSD type
symptoms as well as with emotional maladjustment in this client group.
Conclusions. It is suggested that PTSD models can be useful in
understanding the mechanisms involved in the posttraumatic reactions and
difficulties of emotional adjustment following traumatic brain injuries. This has
serious clinical implications that need to be examined further.