The majority of research on health outcomes after a traumatic brain injury is focused on male participants. Information examining gender differences in health outcomes post traumatic brain injury is limited. The purpose of this study was to investigate gender differences in symptoms reported after a traumatic brain injury and to examine the degree to which these symptoms are problematic in daily functioning.
This is a secondary data analysis of a retrospective cohort study of 306 individuals who sustained a moderate to severe traumatic brain injury 8 to 24 years ago. Data were collected using the Problem Checklist (PCL) from the Head Injury Family Interview (HIFI). Using Bonferroni correction, group differences between women and men were explored using Chi-square and Wilcoxon analysis.
Chi-square analysis by gender revealed that significantly more men reported difficulty setting realistic goals and restlessness whereas significantly more women reported headaches, dizziness and loss of confidence. Wilcoxon analysis by gender revealed that men reported sensitivity to noise and sleep disturbances as significantly more problematic than women, whereas for women, lack of initiative and needing supervision were significantly more problematic in daily functioning.
This study provides insight into gender differences on outcomes after traumatic brain injury. There are significant differences between problems reported by men compared to women. This insight may facilitate health service planners and clinicians when developing programs for individuals with brain injury.