While physical and cognitive deficits are widely recognized as consequences of
traumatic brain injury
(TBI), some may be unaware of the emotional impact of a TBI in the post-injury
period. The ongoing challenges after a TBI can cause a person to plummet
into depression, or it can move a person to stand and fight for recovery.
Emotional resilience – the personal traits that allow a person to
flourish during a period of adversity – can be a significant predictor
of patients’ long-term well-being after experiencing a TBI.
A recent Michigan study examined factors that promote resilience in the
first five years after injury. Researchers administered a number of cognitive,
emotional, and personality assessments to sixty-seven individuals who
had experienced a TBI. They found that:
- Resilience was not correlated with pre-injury intelligence, TBI severity,
or cognitive flexibility.
- Effective coping styles and perceived social support systems were highly
correlated with resilience in the post-injury years.
- Positive personality traits were associated with better resilience, but
not as strongly as coping style and social support.
This study has important implications for post-injury treatment. In the
years following a TBI, providing a patient with positive coping strategies
and maintaining strong social support networks can foster resilience and
result in healthier long-term emotional outcomes.
Source: Hanks RA, Rapport LJ. Correlates of resilience in the first five
years after traumatic brain injury. Rehabilitation Psychology. (February 2016).
To schedule a
free case evaluation with an experienced San Francisco brain injury attorney, please contact
Scarlett Law Group.