Research Reports - Mental health disorders after traumatic brain injury

Brain Inj. 2015 Jan 23:1-7

Gibson R(1), Purdy SC

Abstract Primary objective: This study investigated psychological disorders for
patients receiving traumatic brain injury (TBI) rehabilitation within a
community-based TBI service in New Zealand. Research design: Cross-sectional
study involving retrospective review of clinical notes for all referrals received
in a 6-month period. This methodology was selected to gain a sample of
individuals reflective of the range of patients seen in TBI rehabilitation
services in New Zealand. Methods and procedures: The clinical records for 279
patients were reviewed for formal psychiatric diagnoses and references to
moderate or severe psychological symptoms. Main outcomes and results: Of the
clinical records, 57.7% noted significant psychological problems post-injury
(n = 161) and 8.6% had a psychiatric diagnosis recorded, with 10.8% reporting
psychological disorders pre-injury. In comparison, 15.1% had input from a
clinical psychologist and 2.2% had involvement from a mental health team.
Conclusions: The rate of psychological symptoms was significantly higher post-TBI
than pre-TBI and few of the patients reporting significant psychological symptoms
were receiving intervention from mental health professionals. Further research is
needed regarding the ability of TBI rehabilitation professionals in New Zealand
to identify and respond to the psychological implications of TBI and on the
ability of TBI and mental health teams to liaise effectively.

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