Objective: Very few studies have examined permanent post-concussion symptoms (PCSs) after mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI). None have reported the nature of such symptoms. Our recent study was the first to report on a wide range of factors affecting PCSs in a representative sample of such patients. This paper presents the frequencies of the different PCSs experienced by this group and compares them with PCSs at earlier stages post injury.
Method: One hundred consecutively referred patients to a Community Head Injury Service in Buckinghamshire, UK, for the treatment of long-term PCSs after MTBI were invited to participate in the original study. Those consenting to do so (n = 24, mean time post injury = 6.9 years) completed a Rivermead Post Concussion Symptoms Questionnaire. The frequency of the types of symptoms reported is presented. These are then contrasted with comparable PCS presentations at 7–10 days and 6 months post injury from two other studies.
Results: Fatigue was reported by all long-term patients. Poor concentration, sleep disturbance, taking longer to think and irritability were the other most frequently endorsed permanent symptoms. The least reported were blurred/double vision, photophobia, nausea, headache and dizziness. A similar pattern was present in those at earlier stages post injury.
Conclusions: The most common permanent PCSs may be those best conceptualised as the more cognitively and emotionally based symptoms, and the least common the more somatically based ones. There may be some consistency in the nature of PCSs reported over time.