Subjective executive funtioning as a predictor of coping style in patients with TBI at all levels of severity



Objectives: The majority of patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) sustain a mild TBI, of which the prognosis isgenerally favourable. However, patients with moderate-to-severe TBI can experience long-lasting cognitive, emotional and behavioural deficits that interfere with functioning in daily life and the resumption of work. Current literature suggests that executive functioning and coping style are important factors affecting outcome. Moreover, it is suggested that intact executive functioning is a pre-requisite for the use of adaptive coping; as executive processes such as foresight, planning and initiation seem essential for the employment of active coping strategies. So far, the exact association between executive functioning and coping remains unclear, as literature has pro-vided us with mixed results. The aim of the present study is 2-fold. First, we aim to assess the association between executive functioning and coping among patients with TBI at different levels of severity. Second, we aim to investigate to what extent injury severity influences the association between executive ability and coping as a moderating factor.Methods: We included 109 TBI patients from two prospective follow-up studies, of which 53 patients were classified as mild TBI, 19 patients as moderate and 37 patients as severe. Additionally, 33 healthy controls were included. Executive functioning and coping style were assessed by neuropsycho-logical examination in the post-acute and chronic phase after TBI. Results: Greater self-reported executive dysfunction was related to greater use of passive coping styles in all separate levels of severity and in the mixed TBI group (β= 0.591,p<0.001). Additionally, a lower amount of self-reported executive dysfunction was related to higher levels of active coping in the mixed TBI group (β=–0.457,p< 0.001) and the mild and severe TBI groups. Additionally, better performance on an executive test for response inhibition was related to greater use of active coping in the total TBI group (β=–0.178,p=0.047). No evidence for a moderating effect of injury severity on the association between executive functioning and coping was found. Conclusions: Self-reported executive functioning was a significant predictor of coping style at all levels of injury severity inpatients with TBI. Individuals who reported greater executive problems were predisposed to rely on a maladaptive passive coping style. Furthermore, these results suggest that less self-reported executive dysfunction was related to a higher use of an active coping style.
Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)670
Aantal pagina's1
TijdschriftBrain Injury
Nummer van het tijdschrift5-6
StatusPublished - 19-mei-2016
EvenementInternational Brain Injury Association's Eleventh World Congress on Brain Injury - World Forum Conference Center, The Hague, Netherlands
Duur: 2-mrt.-20165-mrt.-2016

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