A transdiagnostic investigation of emotional distress after traumatic brain injury

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Shields, Cassandra
Ownsworth, Tamara
O'Donovan, Analise
Fleming, Jennifer
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2016
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Abstract

Emotional distress after traumatic brain injury (TBI) often presents as a range of neurobehavioural and emotional reactions rather than distinct disorders. This study adopted a transdiagnostic approach with the aim of identifying psychological processes common to depression, anxiety and global distress after TBI. Fifty participants with TBI (aged 19–66 years, 12–65 months post-injury) completed measures of threat appraisals and avoidance behaviour (Appraisal of Threat and Avoidance Questionnaire), self-discrepancy (Head Injury Semantic Differential Scale III), emotion dysregulation (Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale), worry (Penn State Worry Questionnaire), negative self-focused attention (Self-Focus Sentence Completion) and emotional distress (Depression Anxiety Stress Scales and Brief Symptom Inventory). Significant correlations were found among the proposed transdiagnostic variables (rs = .29–.82, p < .05). A principal components analysis revealed two underlying factors: (1) Threats to Self, and (2) Emotion Dysregulation. Only the Emotion Dysregulation factor accounted for significant unique variance in levels of depression, anxiety and global distress (sr2 = .12–.17). Such findings indicate the need for interventions to target difficulties in identifying and regulating emotions after TBI to facilitate emotional adjustment.

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Neuropsychological Rehabilitation

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© 2015 Taylor & Francis (Routledge). This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Neuropsychological Rehabilitation on 28 Apr 2015, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09602011.2015.1037772

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Biomedical and clinical sciences

Psychology

Cognition

Neurosciences

Allied health and rehabilitation science

Clinical and health psychology

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