Relationship Between Depression and Psychosocial Functioning after Traumatic Brain Injury
What is the relationship between depression and psychosocial (social, emotional and thinking) abilities up to five years after traumatic brain injury (TBI)?
Depression is a frequently reported consequence of TBI that presents many psychosocial challenges for individuals post-injury. A number of research studies have documented that major depression following TBI can range from 13% at one year to as high as 61% at eight years, a finding that suggests that the number of individuals who become depressed after TBI increases over time. Major Depression after TBI may be time-limited, or extend over a prolonged period of time. Currently, there are few predictors of who will become depressed after TBI, and few studies which examine the natural course of onset and/or recovery from depression and its impact on psychological functioning following TBI.
This Study involves 188 individuals with TBI living in the community who were less than five years post onset of their TBIs. These individuals were enrolled in a study which assessed mood and psychosocial functioning at
The four groups were different in terms of psychosocial functioning. The group of participants that reported no depression at either assessment reported fewer depressive symptoms and higher psychological functioning than all other groups. The group of individuals that remained depressed at both assessments reported the poorest psychosocial functioning with a further decline in their overall quality of life at
Who May Be Affected By These Findings
Individuals with TBI, family members, caregivers, health professionals, community providers, and researchers.
There were several limitations in the study which should be considered. The information used for analysis was that reported by the individuals being studied; this information was not verified by another observer (for example, a family member or professional). The research design limited the study to a one year follow up of individuals. Although this time period is adequate to assess an episode of depression, the patterns of depression after TBI identified in the study may well continue to shift over time for individuals. The study did not track interventions that participants may have or have not received between the first and second assessments, e.g., use of medications for mood, therapy, other rehabilitation efforts, etc. Such interventions might have affected the psychosocial outcomes found in the study.
Findings highlight differing patterns of depression after TBI and the psychosocial impacts of depression for individuals after TBI. The study points to the importance of ongoing assessment of mood and psychosocial function during the initial five years post TBI since depression may emerge, resolve or remain chronic during this time period. Timely interventions for depression may help limit the duration of the depression and thus enhance
Find This Study
Hibbard, M.R., Ashman, T.A., Spielman, L.A., Chun, D. Charatz H.J., Melvin, S. (2004).
Relationship Between Depression and Psychosocial Functioning after Traumatic Brain Injury. Archives of Physical Medicine Rehabilitation, 85; S43-53.