Title page for ETD etd-09062010-150127

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Joosub, Noorjehaan
URN etd-09062010-150127
Document Title Neuropsychological outcomes, clinical characteristics and depression in a group with traumatic brain injury : a retrospective review
Degree Master of Arts
Department Psychology
Advisor Name Title
Dr N Cassimjee Supervisor
  • education level
  • neuropsychological impairment
  • cognitive impairment
  • depression
  • neuropsychological assessment
  • neuropsychology
  • traumatic brain injury
  • beck depression inventory-II
  • primary language
  • emotional sequelae
Date 2010-04-22
Availability unrestricted

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a multi-faceted disease that affects individuals on physical, cognitive and emotional levels. The specific aims of this research are to explore the prevalence of depression and the relationship between depression, neuropsychological performance and clinical variables in a cohort with TBI. This is accomplished through the retrospective review of 75 neuropsychological reports containing information on clinical variables, performance on neuropsychological measures and Beck Depression Inventory- Second Edition (BDI-II) scores of individuals who had sustained a TBI.

The neuropsychological domains assessed via the standardized neuropsychological measures were the domains of attention, concentration, memory, learning, non-verbal and abstract reasoning, manual dexterity, verbal recall, working memory, perception, psychomotor performance, incidental learning, concept formation and verbal fluency. These results were statistically analysed to determine relationships with depression and clinical variables.

The investigations undertaken in this study signified particularly pertinent relationships in the interactions among the variables of interest. Higher education level was found to be extremely critical in assisting retention of cognitive abilities following a TBI. Primary language was also a significant differentiator of performance among tests. Age had contrasting effects, with increasing age being favourable on the Similarities Test and related to poorer performance on the Letter Cancellation Test. Increasing GCS scores were related to slower performance on the Letter Cancellation Test and decreased performance on the RAVLT Free Recall Test. Longer PTA duration was related to worse performance on the Matrix Reasoning Test. These results indicate that these indicators of injury severity did not correlate with cognitive performance in this sample after TBI. The high incidence of depression in this study confirms that major depression is a very common occurrence after TBI. This has widespread implications for patient and family counselling, and psychotropic interventions in treatment planning after TBI.

Further research on the emotional and cognitive aspects of TBIs within the South African population is needed to supplement the lack of information currently available. It is recommended that further studies build on the current study by exploring larger samples, and using more stratification specificity in terms of the type of injury sustained as well as functional outcomes.

Copyright 2009, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Joosub, N 2009, Neuropsychological outcomes, clinical characteristics and depression in a group with traumatic brain injury : a retrospective review, MA dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-09062010-150127/ >


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