The Influence of Gender on Neuropsychological Test Performance and Symptom Reporting in Individuals with Prolonged Concussion Symptoms

Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology. 2018 Nov;

33(6):703-704.

Pardini, J., Garrett, R., Allred, R., Massingale, S. and Schatz, P..

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Abstract:

Objective: To examine whether gender differences exist on neurocognitive testing in patients with persistent concussion symptoms (30 days to one year post injury). Method: Data were acquired through IRB-approved chart review. Subjects were 92 patients who had sustained a concussion (39% male) and were referred for neuropsychological evaluation at a southwestern concussion clinic. Patients reported prolonged post-concussion symptoms (30–365 days), including cognitive complaints. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) testing was used to examine gender differences on a variety of neuropsychological measures and on a self-report measure of symptoms. Results: Gender groups did not differ in age or days from injury to testing (ps > .05). When examining test performance using standard scores, no significant differences existed between performance of males and females on Trail Making Tests A and B, Learning and Delayed Memory scores of the HVLT or BVMT, WAIS-IV subtests (Picture Completion, Coding, Digits Forward, Digits Backward), or DKEFS subtests of Letter Fluency and Category Fluency (ps > .05). Total score on the Post Concussion Symptom Scale was also not significantly different by gender, though scores followed trends observed in prior studies with females reporting more symptoms (p > .05, female mean = 43.92, male mean = 35.35). Conclusions: Although gender differences have been observed in post-concussion neurocognitive functioning and symptom report when patients were evaluated with computerized testing and more acutely post injury (e.g., Broshek et al., 2005; Colvin et al., 2009), differences were not observed in this sample of patients with prolonged symptoms assessed with paper and pencil neuropsychological tests. This suggests that patients who take longer to recover from concussion may represent a unique group on which further research should be completed.

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