Content » Vol 45, Issue 8

Original report

Fatigue, psychosocial adaptation and quality of life one year after traumatic brain injury and suspected traumatic axonal injury; evaluations of patients and relatives: A pilot study

Eva Esbjörnsson, Thomas Skoglund, Katharina S. Sunnerhagen
Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation Medicine, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Göteborg University, Göteborg, Göteborg, Sweden. E-mail:
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-1170


Objective: To describe fatigue and its relationship to cognition, psychosocial adjustment, quality of life (QoL), work status and relative’s experiences 12 months after suspected traumatic axonal injury (TAI).
Methods: Eighteen patients were assessed with the Daily Fatigue Impact Scale (D-FIS), the Barrow Neurological Institute Screen for Higher Cerebral Functions (BNIS), the European Questionnaire 5 Dimensions health-related quality of life, the Glasgow Coma Outcome Scale Extended, and the European Brain Injury Questionnaire (EBIQ) (patient and relative). Return to work was registered.
Results: At 1 year, fatigue still caused great problems in daily life. Although fatigue and cognition (BNIS) did not correlate, the more fatigued patients subjectively experienced significantly more cognitive dysfunction. Although D-FIS and QoL did not correlate, most patients reported that feelings of tiredness and dullness related to having lower QoL. However, lower QoL was associated with cognitive and attention disability (BNIS), subjective perception of executive dysfunction, lack of motivation, and mood disturbances (EBIQ). Neither fatigue nor cognition associated with return to work. The general consequences of TAI showed good agreement between patients’ and relatives’ experiences.
Conclusion: The patient’s subjective experience of the impact of TAI seems to be most essential, as it is the objective reality that the patient responds to, and this should therefore be assessed and treated.

Lay Abstract


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