Year, Volume, Issue, Page(s):17, 27, 7, 1019-1030
Post-traumatic brain injury fatigue (PTBIF) is a major problem in the years after traumatic brain injury (TBI), yet little is known about its persistence and resolution. The objective of the study was to identify factors related to PTBIF remission and resolution. TBI Model System registrants at five centres participated in interviews at either one and two years post-injury (Y1-2 Cohort), or two and five years post-injury (Y2-5 Cohort). Characteristics of participants with PTBIF remission were compared to those with PTBIF persistence. Variables studied included the presence of and changes in disability, sleep dysfunction, mood, and community participation. The Functional Independence Measure did not differ significantly between groups or over time. In the Y1-2 Cohort the Fatigue Resolved group scored significantly better on the Disability Rating Scale and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. In the Y2-5 Cohort the Fatigue Resolved group scored significantly higher on a measure of community participation. It was concluded that fewer than half of the sample in each cohort experienced a remission of PTBIF between time points. Persistence of PTBIF 1-2 years post-injury is associated with disability, sleep disturbance, and depression while persistence of fatigue beyond 2 years post-injury appears to be related to participation level, underscoring the potential impact of effective surveillance, assessment, and treatment of this condition in optimising life after TBI. Differences in fatigue progression may point to the presence of different types of PTBIF.