Factors Affecting Recovery After Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

Project Title:
Factors Affecting Recovery After Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
Project Aim:
Mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) is common and many people recover within three months. However a concerning number of people (up to 15%) develop chronic symptoms and disability, irrespective of injury severity. Reasons for such poor outcomes are not well understood and require further research. This mixed methods study examines factors potentially associated with outcome after MTBI to help clinicians understand why some people do not recover as expected. Quantitative (questionnaires, brain scans, cognitive tests) and qualitative (interviews) approaches will be employed to collect data for the study. The factors we are interested in include changes in brain function, and psychological factors such as coping skills, injury beliefs, personality styles and the impact of stress. Knowledge gained from this research will help develop effective treatments targeting modifiable risk factors to improve MTBI outcomes and reduce risk for development of chronic health problems after injury.
Lead Researcher:
Dr Deborah Snell, PhD
Contact Details:
Burwood Academy of Independent Living (BAIL) Burwood Hospital Christchurch New Zealand
Phone 03 3836871
email: Debbie.Snell@burwood.org.nz
Dr Sandy Macleod, Brain Injury Rehabilitation Service, Burwood Hospital Canterbury District Health Board.
Associate Professor Lois Surgenor, Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Otago Christchurch
Professor Richard Siegert, AUT University Auckland
Associate Professor Jean Hay-Smith, University of Otago Wellington
Professor Gary Hooper, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Musculoskeletal Medicine, University of Otago Christchurch
Dr Tracy Melzer, School of Medicine, University of Otago Christchurch
Professor Tim Anderson, School of Medicine, University of Otago Christchurch.
Research Assistant: Rachelle Martin, PhD Candidate, Rehabilitation Teaching and Research Unit, University of Otago Wellington
Health Research Council of New Zealand
Recruitment has now closed and data is being analysed. Summary of findings coming soon.

Snell DL, Martin R, Macleod, AD, Surgenor L, Siegert RJ, Hay-Smith EJC, Hooper GJ, Melzer T, Anderson T. (2015). Untangling symptoms: post-concussion syndrome or chronic pain? Oral presentation at Australasian Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine (AFRM) and New Zealand Rehabilitation Association (NZRA) Conference Wellington October 2015.
More coming soon.