What Predicts Aggression After Brain Injury?

man holding head

Aggressive assaults on healthcare workers are common, and people with a brain injury are more likely than people without a brain injury to show aggressive behavior. In order to help healthcare workers predict which patients are most likely to be aggressive, researchers recently reviewed hospital charts to determine the characteristics that were linked to aggressive behavior.

They found that an education of ten years or less, a pre-injury history of aggressive behavior, dependence on staff for daily living, and hospitalization of 51 days or more were predictive of aggressive behavior. Of these, a history of aggressive behavior before the brain injury was the most predictive characteristic. Aggression is considered a stable personality trait, but can it become exacerbated by disinhibition caused by brain injury.

These findings can help in identifying patients who may be more likely to become aggressive, as well as training healthcare workers to cope with aggressive behaviors.

Ker K, Oram J, Tinson, H, & Shum D. The correlation of aggression in people with acquired brain injury: A preliminary retrospective study. Brain Injury. (July 2011).