Research Reports - Subjective sleep quality and postconcussion symptoms following mild traumatic brain injury

Brain Inj. 2015 Oct;29(11):1337-41. doi: 10.3109/02699052.2015.1045030. Epub 2015 Aug 7.

Towns SJ(1), Silva MA(1), Belanger HG(1,)(2,)(3,)(4,)(5).

PRIMARY OBJECTIVE: The goal of this investigation is to examine the prevalence of
poor subjective sleep in patients with a history of mild traumatic brain injury
(mTBI) and examine the relationship between subjective sleep quality and
postconcussive symptoms (PCS), above and beyond the typical demographic and
psychological distress variables.
RESEARCH DESIGN: Individuals with a history of mTBI completed online
questionnaires. Regression analysis was utilized to determine if subjective sleep
quality would predict PCS severity, above and beyond demographic variables and
psychological distress.
METHODS AND PROCEDURES: Individuals with a history of mTBI (n = 158) completed
surveys online. Sleep quality was assessed with the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality
Index (PSQI) and PCS with the Neurobehavioral Symptom Inventory (NSI).
Demographic information was collected and psychological distress was measured
using the Brief Symptom Inventory-18 (BSI-18).
MAIN OUTCOMES AND RESULTS: In this sample, 92% of patients with mTBI reported
poor sleep. Sleep quality significantly accounted for the variance in PCS, above
and beyond demographics, time since injury and psychological distress
(p < 0.001), although only a small amount of the variance in PCS was explained.
CONCLUSIONS: Results indicate that poor subjective sleep quality is a significant
problem in those with mTBI. While sleep is associated with PCS severity,
psychological distress is a more potent predictor. 

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