Skip to main content

Development of a symptom expectation questionnaire for minor head injury

Abstract

Background and objective

Expectations and beliefs are important predictors of outcome following minor head injury. In this paper, the primary purpose is to develop a simple symptom expectation questionnaire for minor head injury for use in future research studies.

Methods

An existing database of 179 injury-naive subjects who completed a 56-item checklist of expected symptoms for minor head injury was analyzed to determine which items could correctly identify an a priori case definition of an expecter (a subject who expected at least one of these symptoms would remain chronic following minor head injury). A total of six of the 56 items were found to be discriminatory, and these were tested in additional subject groups against the original questionnaire.

Results

From the original database of 179 subjects completing a 56-item symptom expectation checklist, 135 expected that at least one of the 56 symptoms would be chronic following minor head injury. The 135 expecters, however, all chose at least one of six items: headache, anxious or worried, depressed, difficulty concentrating, dizziness, and neck pain. Using these six items, in two new groups of subjects, all those who endorsed one of the 56 symptoms as likely to be chronic following minor head injury (expecters) could also be identified on the 6-item checklist.

Conclusions

A shortened (6-item) symptom expectation checklist of commonly reported symptoms following minor head injury (headache, anxious or worried, depressed, difficulty concentrating, dizziness, and neck pain) correctly identifies subjects who expect that at least one symptom will be chronic following minor head injury (i.e., an expecter).

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. Aubrey, J.B., Dobbs, A.R., Rule, B.G., 1989. Laypersons’ knowledge about the sequelae of minor head injury and whiplash. J. Neurol. Neurosurg. Psychiatry, 52(7):842–846. [doi:10.1136/jnnp.52.7.842]

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Buchbinder, R., Jolley, D., Wyatt, M., 2001. Population based intervention to change back pain beliefs and disability: three part evaluation. BMJ, 322(7301):1516–1520. [doi:10.1136/bmj.322.7301.1516]

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Ferrari, R., Lang, C., 2005. A cross-cultural comparison between Canada and Germany of symptom expectation for whiplash injury. J. Spinal Dis. Tech., 18(1):92–97. [doi:10.1097/01.bsd.0000138214.70260.91]

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Ferrari, R., Russell, A.S., 2010. Correlations between coping styles and symptom expectation for whiplash injury. Clin. Rheumatol., 29(11):1245–1249. [doi:10.1007/s10067-010-1443-1]

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Ferrari, R., Obelieniene, D., Russell, A.S., Darlington, P., Gervais, R., Green, P., 2001. Symptom expectation after minor head injury. A comparative study between Canada and Lithuania. Clin. Neurol. Neurosurg., 103(3):184–190. [doi:10.1016/S0303-8467(01)00143-3]

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Mittenberg, W., DiGiulio, D.V., Perrin, S., Bass, A.E., 1992. Symptoms following mild head injury: expectation as aetiology. J. Neurol. Neurosurg. Psychiatry, 55(3):200–204. [doi:10.1136/jnnp.55.3.200]

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Whittaker, R., Kemp, S., House, A., 2007. Illness perceptions and outcome in mild head injury: a longitudinal study. J. Neurol. Neurosurg. Psychiatry, 78(6):644–646. [doi:10.1136/jnnp.2006.101105]

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Robert Ferrari.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Ferrari, R., Louw, D. Development of a symptom expectation questionnaire for minor head injury. J. Zhejiang Univ. Sci. B 12, 499 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1631/jzus.B1100098

Download citation

Key words

  • Minor head injury
  • Expectation
  • Outcomes

CLC number

  • R651.1+5