A 1999 study,
Rate of psychiatric illness 1 year after traumatic brain injury, published in the
American Journal of Psychiatry, sought to determine whether patients who experience traumatic brain injury
might be at increased risk of developing psychiatric illness. No prior
study that had considered this possibility used accepted research standards
or chose a sufficiently large sample size.
The researchers who designed this study relied on a traditional two-state
diagnostic method. Over the period of a year, Wales' Cardiff Royal
Infirmary admitted 3,667 adults (over age 17) with a head injury. Each
patient, admitted between July 1994 and June 1995,
suffered from traumatic brain injuries. All participation was voluntary, and the study included 196 patients,
65% of whom were male. Patient ages ranged from 18-94 years. Each participant
completed a questionnaire, and doctors conducted a standardized interview
on 164 patients who exhibited high indicator levels for psychiatric illness.
One year following their TBI trauma, of 62 patients identified by the questionnaire,
30 had been diagnosed with a psychiatric problem, per the ICD-10's
criteria, and 20 patients had been diagnosed with multiple psychiatric issues.
The most common illnesses in the test group included depression and panic
disorder. The study noted a higher rate of psychiatric illness in those
who had suffered a prior traumatic brain injury. No statistically significant
relationship existed between those who tested positive for mental illness
and those who sought compensation in a legal claim.
As we've discussed in previous posts about scientific studies of TBI,
correlation does not imply causation. In other words, just because researchers
can find associations between two variables does not mean one has caused
the other. In this study, for instance, many factors could have contributed
to higher rates of psychological illness, including:
History of mental illness;
- Level of formal education;
- Degree of brain trauma;
- Nature of the TBI-induced disability;
To strategize effectively to obtain fair compensation and excellent medical
care after a brain injury, you need qualified, smart and skilled people
on your side. Consider connecting with the Washington D.C. brain injury
lawyers at Regan, Zambri & Long today for a consultation. Our D.C.
medical malpractice attorneys can help you and your family understand
your potential options to seek compensation.
As we've reported before, brain injury in sports is a huge and growing
problem. Learn more here: How Is the NFL Handling Its Concussion Problem? A Look at the Statistics