Trajectories of Fatigue, Psychological Distress, and Coping Styles After Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: A 6-Month Prospective Cohort Study

Sandra E. Rakers*, Marieke E. Timmerman, Myrthe E. Scheenen, Myrthe E. de Koning, Harm J. van der Horn, Joukje van der Naalt, Jacoba M. Spikman

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

1 Citaat (Scopus)
20 Downloads (Pure)


Objective: To analyze fatigue after mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) with latent class growth analysis (LCGA) to determine distinct recovery trajectories and investigate influencing factors, including emotional distress and coping styles. Design: An observational cohort study design with validated questionnaires assessing fatigue, anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress, and coping at 2 weeks and 3 and 6 months postinjury. Setting: Three level 1 trauma centers. Participants: Patients with mild TBI (N=456). Interventions: Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures: Fatigue was measured with the fatigue severity subscale of the Checklist Individual Strength, including 8 items (sum score, 8-56). Subsequently, 3 clinical categories were created: high (score, 40-56), moderate (score, 26-38), and low (score, 8-25). Results: From the entire mild TBI group, 4 patient clusters with distinct patterns for fatigue, emotional distress, and coping styles were found with LCGA. Clusters 1 and 2 showed favorable recovery from fatigue over time, with low emotional distress and the predominant use of active coping in cluster 1 (30%) and low emotional distress and decreasing passive coping in cluster 2 (25%). Clusters 3 and 4 showed unfavorable recovery, with persistent high fatigue and increasing passive coping together with low emotional distress in cluster 3 (27%) and high emotional distress in cluster 4 (18%). Patients with adverse trajectories were more often women and more often experiencing sleep disturbances and pain. Conclusions: The prognosis for recovery from posttraumatic fatigue is favorable for 55% of mild TBI patients. Patients at risk for chronic fatigue can be signaled in the acute phase postinjury based on the presence of high fatigue, high passive coping, and, for a subgroup of patients, high emotional distress. LCGA proved to be a highly valuable and multipurpose statistical method to map distinct courses of disease-related processes over time.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)1965-1971
Aantal pagina's7
TijdschriftArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Nummer van het tijdschrift10
Vroegere onlinedatum1-jul.-2021
StatusPublished - okt.-2021

Citeer dit