Symptoms of post-traumatic stress: Intrusion and avoidance 6 and 12 months after TBI

Arlene I. Greenspan, Anthony Y. Stringer, V. L. Phillips, Flora M. Hammond, Felicia C. Goldstein

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Primary objectives: (1) To examine survivors with traumatic brain injury (TBI) for symptoms of avoidance and intrusion, two dimensions of post-traumatic stress (PTS) at 6 and 12 months post-injury. (2) To identify risk factors associated with these symptoms. Research design: Prospective follow-up study. Methods and procedures: Georgia and North Carolina Model Brain Injury Systems participants (n=198) with mild (19%), moderate (21%) and severe (60%) TBI were interviewed by telephone at 6 and 12 months post-injury. The Impact of Event Scale (IES) was used to identify intrusion and avoidance symptoms. Results: Symptoms consistent with severe PTS increased from 11% at 6 months to 16% 12 months post-injury (p<0.003). African-Americans (p<0.01) and women (p<0.05) reported greater symptomatology at 12 months compared to their counterparts. TBI severity and memory of the event were not associated with PTS-like symptoms. Symptoms increased over time when examined by race, injury intent, gender and age (p<0.05). Conclusions: Regardless of severity, survivors with TBI are at risk for developing symptoms consistent with PTS. Amnesia for the injury event was not protective against developing these symptoms. African-Americans appear to be at greatest risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)733-742
Number of pages10
JournalBrain Injury
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jun 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Amnesia
  • Follow-up studies
  • Impact of events scale
  • Post-traumatic stress symptoms
  • Risk factors
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Neurology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Symptoms of post-traumatic stress: Intrusion and avoidance 6 and 12 months after TBI'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this