, Volume 245, Issue 9, pp 609-612

Quantification of post-concussion symptoms 3 months after minor head injury in 100 consecutive patients

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Post-concussion symptoms (PCS) (such as headaches, irritability, anxiety, dizziness, fatigue and impaired concentration) are frequently experienced by patients who have sustained a minor head injury (MHI). The post-concussion syndrome has been defined as a clinical state where 3 or more symptoms persist for more than 3 months. This report focuses on the quantification of PCS according to the Rivermead Postconcussion Symptoms Questionnaire (RPQ). We studied 100 consecutive patients with MHI and normal computed tomography of the brain. At 3 months after injury, 62% reported the presence of one or more symptoms, and 40% fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for post-concussion syndrome. Patients with post-concussion syndrome had significantly (P < 0.001) higher RPQ scores (mean 19.1, SD 11.9) than those without (mean 1.2, SD 1.8). Patients on sick leave owing to the injury reported significantly (P = 0.05) higher RPQ scores (mean 10.3, SD 13.2) than those not on sick leave (mean 5.5, SD 8.6). We observed no association between age, gender, cause of injury, severity of injury, duration of amnesia and RPQ score. RPQ score provides useful information about the severity of PCS regardless of whether the diagnostic criteria for the post-concussion syndrome are met or not.

Received: 14 November 1997 Received in revised form: 18 February 1998 Accepted: 16 March 1998