Postinjury symptoms and decreased quality of life are common after mild traumatic brain injury. However, few studies have examined how soon, after injury, these changes dissipate.
This study aimed to compare changes in postconcussion symptoms, posttraumatic stress, and illness representations and identify predictors of health-related quality of life before and 1 month after hospital discharge for mild traumatic brain injury.
A prospective, multicenter, correlational design was used to measure postconcussion symptoms, posttraumatic stress, illness representations, and health-related quality of life. The survey was administered to 136 patients with mild traumatic brain injury between June 2020 and July 2021 at three hospitals in Indonesia. Data were collected at discharge and 1 month later.
Compared with before hospital discharge, data collected 1 month after discharge showed that patients experienced reduced postconcussion symptoms, posttraumatic stress, better illness perceptions, and quality of life. Those with postconcussion symptoms (β =−.35, p < .001), more posttraumatic stress symptoms (β =−.12, p = .044), more identity symptoms (β = .11, p = .008), worsened personal control (β =−.18, p = .002), worsened treatment control (β =−.16, p = .001), and negative emotional representations (β =−.17, p = .007) were significantly related to worsened health-related quality of life.
This study shows that within 1 month of hospital discharge, patients with mild traumatic brain injury had decreased postconcussion symptoms, posttraumatic stress, and improved illness perceptions. Efforts to impact mild brain injury quality of life should focus on inhospital care to optimize the transition to discharge.