OBJECTIVE: To investigate the prevalence of personality change after severe brain injury, to identify predictors of personality change, and to investigate whether personality change is associated with distress in family members. SETTING: A public sub-acute rehabilitation unit in Copenhagen, Denmark. PARTICIPANTS: Twenty-two pairs of patients with TBI or NTBI and their SOs comprised the study sample. INTERVENTIONS: Not applicable. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: A significant other (SO) completed the observer version of the NEO-FFI rating the patient at discharge from hospital and one year after the injury. The SOs were also asked to complete the anxiety and depression scales of the SCL-90-R, rating their own emotional condition and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) as assessed by the four mental scales of the SF-36. RESULTS: Of the sample 59.1% experienced personality change following acquired brain injury, and the most dominant changes were observed on the personality traits of Neuroticism, Extraversion and Conscientiousness. Changes in Neuroticism were most often observed in patients with frontal or temporal lesions. Generally, personality change in patients was not associated with more distress and lower HRQoL in family members but change in patient Agreeableness was associated with lower HRQoL on the Role Emotional scale. CONCLUSIONS: Personality change was observed in the majority of patients with severe brain injury. Change in Neuroticism was associated with frontal and temporal lesions. Generally, personality change was not associated with more distress and lower HRQoL in SOs.
Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 2015, Vol 96, Issue 1, p. 56-62
Journal Article; Brain injuries; traumatic; Family members; Personality; Prevalence; Rehabilitation