Kessler Foundation researchers have found that among individuals with TBI, depression and self-awareness affect subjective reports of memory, quality of life (QOL), and satisfaction with life.
The study was published in the February 2014 issue of Brain Injury - "The impact of self-awareness and depression on subjective reports of memory, quality- of-life and satisfaction with life following TBI." Impairment in self-awareness (the ability to accurately recognize one's own abilities and limitations) often occurs after TBI. Intact self-awareness would result in accurate self-reports; however, intact self-awareness can also be associated with depressive symptoms. This is the first study to examine the complex relationship between self-awareness and depression, while also accounting for the self-reporting of well being and QoL by individuals with TBI.
Researchers studied 30 community-based adults with TBI of at least one-year duration. Testing included the Awareness Questionnaire, Health Status Questionnaire (SF-12), Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS), Memory Functioning Questionnaire (MFQ), and the Chicago Multiscale Depression Inventory (CMDI).
"Our findings help answer the question: What abilities must be considered when interpreting responses on a self-report questionnaire?" explained Nancy Chiaravalloti, PhD, director of TBI Research at Kessler Foundation, and project director, Northern NJ TBI System. "These results showed first that higher levels of self-awareness are associated with poorer QoL, reports of poor memory performance and better strategy use; and also that symptoms of depression are significantly associated with self-reports of QoL and Satisfaction with life (greater depression associated with lower QoL and lower satisfaction)," reported Dr. Chiaravalloti. "Because of this impact of depressive symptoms, it is very important to diagnose and treat depression in rehabilitation and develop comprehensive treatment plans for individuals with TBI."