Stability of normal personality traits after traumatic brain injury.
OBJECTIVE: To test the hypothesis that changes in personality traits are evident after traumatic brain injury (TBI) using current models of normal adult personality variation. DESIGN: Comparison of inception cohort and control group at two measurement occasions. SETTING: A large urban academic me...
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To test the hypothesis that changes in personality traits are evident after traumatic brain injury (TBI) using current models of normal adult personality variation.
Comparison of inception cohort and control group at two measurement occasions.
A large urban academic medical center.
Retrospective personality assessments were obtained from significant others of 21 TBI patients within 30 days of injury and at 6-month follow-up and from a control group of significant others of 25 persons without neurological history twice over a 6-month interval.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:
Five scales-Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness to Experience, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness-from the revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO PI-R), Form R, and an observer rating scale for retrospective estimates of change (REC).
Significant score changes were found for only one of the five trait domains in the patient sample; controls showed minimal changes overall. Patients' Extraversion scores declined to average levels at 6-month follow-up, diminishing premorbid differences between patients and controls on this dimension. Subjective change estimates made by raters after follow-up reflected perceptions of increased neuroticism in patients that were inconsistent with the serial NEO PI-R data the raters provided.
The absence of systematic changes in personality trait scores among the patients cautions against presuming that such changes account for the behavior of TBI patients.|