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July 27, 2007
Does Shakespeare's famous maxim apply to head injury? According to a new study, the answer is yes. Researchers recently looked at patients with mild head injuries (90% of head injuries in Western countries are classified as "mild") to see whether perceptions of illness contributed to the development and severity of post-concusional syndrome (PCS). 73 patients with mild head injuries participated in the study. They were monitored for PCS symptoms, post-traumatic stress symptoms, perceptions of illness, depression and anxiety. Scales were completed at the time of injury, and at 3-month follow-up. The results: patients who believed their injuries would have a serious effect on their quality of life were at greater risk for post-concusional symptoms. What are the implications for treatment? As the article states: "Recognition of the maladaptive cognitions that contribute to poor outcome of the sort suggested by this study will be helpful in the development of effective cognitive-behavioral interventions."