Title page for ETD etd-06162004-080204

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Wymer, Joy Helena
Author's Email Address wymerjh@musc.edu
URN etd-06162004-080204
Title Psychological and Neuropsychological Correlates of Postconcussional Disorder
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Wm. Drew Gouvier Committee Chair
Hugh Buckingham Committee Member
Paula J. Geiselman Committee Member
Phillip J. Brantley Committee Member
E. William Wischusen Dean's Representative
  • postconcussion
  • attention
  • brain injury
  • trauma
  • mild
  • stress
Date of Defense 2003-07-02
Availability unrestricted
Chronic symptoms of Postconcussional Disorder (PCD) occur in a significant minority of mild brain injury patients. The latest research suggests an interactionistic perspective as the most logical and empirically supported pathogenesis for the development and maintenance of PCD. The interactionistic perspective implicates organic factors in the development of acute symptoms of PCD, and psychological factors in the maintenance of chronic symptoms. Possible psychological factors relevant in the maintenance of PCD symptoms include a grief response, a coping hypothesis, and the development of dysfunctional coping loops. Providing support for a psychological etiology of symptom maintenance is research indicating reduction of chronic symptoms using cognitive behavioral techniques. The present study examined the effects of mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI), postconcussion symptom status, stress, and psychological distress on Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test (PASAT) performance. There were no significant main effects or interactions affecting PASAT performance. Secondarily, a modified distress index was developed using the subscales of the Personality Assessment Inventory (PMDI), based the scoring of the Brief Symptom Inventory Positive Symptom Distress Index. Postconcussive symptoms were moderately correlated with PMDI scores and with specific scales on the PAI (anxiety, anxiety related disorders, depression, somatic complaints, borderline features, stress, and nonsupport). In addition, a 2 (MTBI status) X 2 (PCD symptom status) X 2 (stress) ANOVA with PMDI as the dependent variable yielded main effects of stress and symptom status, but not MTBI, on PMDI scores. Limitations of this study and implications for future research are discussed.
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