Changes in self-reported pre- to postinjury coping styles in the first 3 years after traumatic brain injury and the effects on psychosocial and emotional functioning and quality of life

Gisela Wolters Gregorio, Kate Rachel Gould, Gershon Spitz, Caroline M van Heugten, Jennie Louise Ponsford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


To examine the influence of self-reported preinjury coping on postinjury coping, psychosocial functioning, emotional functioning, and quality of life at 1 year following traumatic brain injury (TBI). Setting: Inpatient hospital and community. Participants: One hundred seventy-four participants with TBI. Design: Prospective, longitudinal design. Participants were assessed at 5 time points: after emerging from posttraumatic amnesia, and at 6, 12, 24, and 36 months postinjury. MAIN MEASURES: Coping Scale for Adults-Short Version; Quality of Life Inventory; Sydney Psychosocial Reintegration Scale; Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Results: High preinjury use of nonproductive coping style predicted high use of nonproductive coping, more anxiety, and lower psychosocial functioning at 1 year postinjury. Increased use of nonproductive coping and decreased use of productive coping predicted poorer psychosocial outcome at 1 year post-TBI. Use of both productive and nonproductive coping decreased in the first 6 to 12 months post-TBI relative to preinjury. Unlike productive coping, nonproductive coping reached preinjury levels within 3 years postinjury. Conclusion: The findings support identification of individuals at risk of relying on nonproductive coping and poorer psychosocial outcome following TBI. In addition, the results emphasize the need to implement timely interventions to facilitate productive coping and reduce the use of nonproductive coping in order to maximize favorable long-term psychosocial outcome.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43 - 53
Number of pages11
JournalThe Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Cite this