Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of death and disability. Post-injury distress is common, with many individuals experiencing chronic anxiety and depressive symptoms as well as chronic pain. In this collection of articles in the journal NeuroRehabilitation, experts report on findings that shed light on the relationship between stress and pain following a TBI and implications for rehabilitation.
A novel study by Amanda McIntyre, PhD, RN, Parkwood Institute, St. Josephs Health Care, London, ONT, Canada, and colleagues highlights the presence of significant distress among certain individuals who have experienced acquired brain injury and the role of specific personality trait characteristics on mood and reported quality of life. Patients who reported increased anxiety sensitivity and experiential avoidance in the process of coping with their injury experienced a more depressed mood and reduced quality of life, while individuals who reported substantially less anxiety sensitivity and experiential avoidance may represent individuals with more effective coping strategies in place, resulting in better management of stress and less difficulty with mental distress and depression.