Personality and Functional Outcome Following Traumatic Brain Injury

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Abstract

Objective

To investigate pre- to postinjury personality change in relation to outcomes following traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Design

Prospective analysis of personality ratings, depression, and outcome using multiple regression analyses.

Participants

Cohort of 3 clinical trauma groups (mild TBI, moderate-severe TBI, orthopedic injury) and their significant others (SO).

Outcome Measures

Independent Living Scale, Vocational Independence Scale, and Mayo-Portland Adaptability Inventory, 1–2 years postinjury.

Predictor Variables

Posttraumatic amnesia (PTA); patient and SO NEO Personality Inventory—Revised ratings of preinjury personality taken at 1–2 months postinjury.

Results

Personality function was normal for all groups (regardless of rating source) and stable over time. Neuroticism, and specifically depression, accounted for small proportions of variance in functional outcome, beyond PTA.

Conclusions

There is little empirical evidence for significant personality disturbance or change up to 2 years post-TBI. Personality and depression contribute modestly to functional outcomes. Results support a distinction between “personality change” and behavior change following TBI.

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