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Enhanced emotional reactions in chronic head trauma patients.
  1. D J Fordyce,
  2. J R Roueche,
  3. G P Prigatano

    Abstract

    The emotional characteristics of head injury patients referred for neuropsychological testing were examined as a function of the time since injury. Patients referred more than 6 months from injury were more emotionally distressed on the MMPI and Katz Adjustment Scale (relatives form) compared to those tested 6 months or earlier. The more chronic head trauma patients were more anxious and depressed, more confused in their thinking, and more socially withdrawn compared to the acute patient group. These differences in emotional functioning appeared to be independent of level of neuropsychological impairment and the initial length of coma. Premorbid personality and increased awareness of impaired functioning with the passage of time are discussed as possible mediators of enhanced emotional distress in some chronic head injury patients.

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