College of Psychology: Faculty Articles

Title

Postconcussion Syndrome Following Sports-Related Head Injury: Expectation as Etiology.

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

10-1999

Keywords

Adolescent, Athletic Injuries, Attitude to Health, Brain Concussion, Cognition, Craniocerebral Trauma, Depression, Florida, New England, Sampling Studies, Syndrome

Publication Title

Neuropsychology

ISSN

0894-4105

Volume

13

Issue/No.

4

Abstract

Mild head trauma is often complicated by a persistent set of symptoms known as postconcussion syndrome (PCS). Past research has suggested that an expectancy-guided, retrospective-recall bias may account for much of the variance in PCS symptom reporting. The present study examined the influence of symptom expectations on mild head trauma symptom reports among participants in contact sports. Head-injured athletes reported symptom rates that did not differ from those of uninjured athletes but consistently underestimated the preinjury incidence of symptoms. Athletes with no head trauma history overestimated the expected degree of pre- to postinjury change in symptom status. Results suggest that individuals with mild head injury tend to overestimate postconcussion symptom change in a manner consistent with their symptom expectations. A cognitive-behavioral model that explains the persistence of PCS is proposed.

DOI

10.1037//0894-4105.13.4.582

Peer Reviewed

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