Symptoms following mild head injury: Expectation as aetiology

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


An affective, somatic, and memory checklist of symptoms was administered to subjects who had no personal experience or knowledge of head injury. Subjects indicated their current experiences of symptoms, then imagined having sustained a mild head injury in a motor vehicle accident, and endorsed symptoms they expected to experience six months after the injury. The checklist of symptoms was also administered to a group of patients with head injuries for comparison. Imaginary concussion reliably showed expectations in controls of a coherent cluster of symptoms virtually identical to the postconcussion syndrome reported by patients with head trauma. Patients consistently underestimated the premorbid prevalence of these symptoms compared with the base rate in controls. Symptom expectations appear to share as much variance with postconcussion syndrome as head injury itself. An aetiological role is suggested.


External organisations
  • Nova Southeastern University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Neurology


  • article, concussion, controlled study, etiology, expectation, experience, follow up, head injury, human, major clinical study, memory, priority journal, questionnaire, symptom, traffic accident
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)200-204
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1992 Nov 10
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes

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