Brief Report of Affective State and Depression Status After Traumatic Brain Injury

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To examine the relationship between affective state (positive and negative affect) and depression status among adults with chronic traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Research Method:

This is a cross-sectional cohort study of community-dwelling adults with chronic TBI (n = 64) that assesses the relationship between affective state (positive and negative affect), using the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS), and depression status, categorized as no depression, history of depressive episode, and current depressive episode, using the Primary Care Evaluation of Mental Disorders (PRIME-MD).


Affective state differed significantly across depression status groups for both positive affect (F (2, 61) = 5.10, p = .009) and negative affect (F ( 2, 61) = 8.19, p = .001). Participants with no depression reported higher positive affect (M = 35.67, SD = 9.08) than those with a current depressive episode (M = 27.64, SD = 8.59, p = .007) and lower negative affect (M = 14.52, SD = 5.08) than those with a history of a depressive episode (M = 20.21, SD = 5.08, p = .006) and those with a current depressive episode (M = 22.29, SD = 6.21, p = .001).


Poor affective state, including both low positive affect and high negative affect, is associated with depression diagnosis. High negative affect is present, even in the absence of a current depressive episode, after TBI. These data highlight the need to assess affective state in addition to screening for mood disorders among adults with chronic TBI.

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