Evaluating the impact of treatment for sleep/wake disorders on recovery of cognition and communication in adults with chronic TBI
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OBJECTIVE: To longitudinally examine objective and self-reported outcomes for recovery of cognition, communication, mood and participation in adults with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and co-morbid post-traumatic sleep/wake disorders. DESIGN: Prospective, longitudinal, single blind outcome study. SETTING: Community-based. PARTICIPANTS: Ten adults with moderate-severe TBI and two adults with mild TBI and persistent symptoms aged 18-58 years. Six males and six females, who were 1-22 years post-injury and presented with self-reported sleep/wake disturbances with onset post-injury. INTERVENTIONS: Individualized treatments for sleep/wake disorders that included sleep hygiene recommendations, pharmacological interventions and/or treatments for sleep apnea with follow-up. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Insomnia Severity Index, Beck Depression and Anxiety Inventories, Latrobe Communication Questionnaire, Speed and Capacity of Language Processing, Test of Everyday Attention, Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status, Daily Cognitive-Communication and Sleep Profile. RESULTS: Group analysis revealed positive trends in change for each measure and across sub-tests of all measures. Statistically significant changes were noted in insomnia severity, p = 0.0003; depression severity, p = 0.03; language, p = 0.01; speed of language processing, p = 0.007. CONCLUSIONS: These results add to a small but growing body of evidence that sleep/wake disorders associated with TBI exacerbate trauma-related cognitive, communication and mood impairments. Treatment for sleep/wake disorders may optimize recovery and outcomes.
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