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JSLHR-H-18-0281vander_werff_SuppS1.pdf (343.71 kB)

Auditory deficits postconcussion (Vander Werff & Rieger, 2019)

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posted on 2019-07-01, 18:09 authored by Kathy R. Vander Werff, Brian Rieger
Purpose: This study examined auditory deficits and symptom reporting in individuals with long-term postconcussion symptoms following a single mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) compared to age- and gender-matched controls without a history of mTBI.
Method: Case history interviews, symptom questionnaires, and a battery of central auditory and neuropsychological tests were administered to 2 groups. The mTBI group was a civilian population recruited from a local concussion management program who were seeking rehabilitation for postconcussion-related problems in a postacute period between 3 and 18 months following injury. Symptom validity testing was included to assess the rate of possible insufficient test effort and its influence on scores for all outcome measures. Analyses of group differences in test scores were performed both with and without the participants who showed insufficient test effort. Rates of symptom reporting, correlations among symptoms and behavioral test outcomes, and the relationships between auditory and cognitive test performance were analyzed.
Results: The mTBI group reported a high rate of auditory symptoms and general postconcussion symptoms. Performance on neuropsychological tests of cognitive function showed some differences in raw scores between groups, but when effort was considered, there were no significant differences in the rate of abnormal performance between groups. In contrast, there were significant differences in both raw scores and the rate of abnormal performance between groups for some auditory tests when only considering participants with sufficient effort. Auditory symptoms were strongly correlated with other general postconcussion symptoms.
Conclusions: Significant auditory symptoms and evidence of long-term central auditory dysfunction were found in a subset of individuals who had chronic postconcussion symptoms after a single mTBI unrelated to blast trauma. The rate of abnormal performance on auditory behavioral tests exceeded the rate of abnormal performance on tests of cognitive function.

Supplemental Material S1. Injury characteristics for the participants in the mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) group (n = 32).

Vander Werff, K. R., & Rieger, B. (2019). Auditory and cognitive behavioral performance deficits and symptom reporting in postconcussion syndrome following mild traumatic brain injury. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 62, 2501–2518.


This study was funded by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant R03 DC010246, awarded to the first author.