The relationship between family expressed emotion, perceived criticism and criticism sensitivity and psychiatric outcomes following traumatic brain injury

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Family expressed emotion (EE) is a strong predictor of outcome in a range of psychiatric and medical conditions. This study aimed to examine the relationship between family EE-criticism, patient perceived criticism and criticism sensitivity and psychiatric disorders following moderate to severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). Participants were 60 patients with TBI and their family members. Patients were assessed for psychiatric disorders using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID-I) and completed the Perceived Criticism Measure (PCM) to determine levels of perceived criticism and criticism sensitivity. Family members completed the Family Questionnaire (FQ) to assess patient directed EE-criticism. Patients were reassessed approximately 12-months post-baseline. After controlling for diagnostic status at baseline, high criticism sensitivity at baseline was associated with greater probability of psychiatric diagnosis at follow-up (odds ratio=3.99, 95% CI=1.15–13.71). Family EE-criticism and perceived criticism were not predictive of patient diagnostic status at follow-up, but patients with high EE-family members were more likely to have a concurrent psychiatric diagnosis at baseline. Findings suggest that sensitivity to interpersonal criticism may have a role in the development and course of psychiatric disorders following TBI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)827-832
Number of pages6
JournalPsychiatry Research
Publication statusPublished - 30 Dec 2016

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