Fatigue Following Traumatic Brain Injury: Frequency, Characteristics, and Associated Factors

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ObjectivesTo document the frequency, characteristics, and factors associated with fatigue following traumatic brain injury (TBI).DesignSurvey methodology and multivariate statistical design.SettingRehabilitation center and community.Participants452 participants aged 16 years and over with minor to severe TBI who answered a questionnaire measuring diverse aspects of fatigue as well as different dimensions of psychological distress, pain, and sleep quality.MeasuresProportion of participants reporting being significantly fatigued. Validated measures of fatigue, sleep quality, and psychological distress. Results of a logistic regression analysis.ResultsSignificant fatigue was reported by 68.5% of participants. Mental fatigue was the most prominent type of fatigue, followed by physical fatigue. Fatigue was present even several years following the accident and had many perceived impacts on day-to-day function. Factors associated with fatigue were a shorter time since injury; being on long-term disability leave; and higher levels of sleep problems, cognitive disturbances, and anxiety.ConclusionFatigue is a prevalent problem after TBI that requires more clinical and scientific attention because it probably has important repercussions on the quality of rehabilitation.

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