Factor analysis of persistent postconcussive symptoms within a military sample with blast exposure

Laura M. Franke, Jenna N. Czarnota, Jessica M. Ketchum, William C. Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE:: To determine the factor structure of persistent postconcussive syndrome symptoms in a blast-exposed military sample and validate factors against objective and symptom measures. SETTING:: Veterans Affairs medical center and military bases. PARTICIPANTS:: One hundred eighty-one service members and veterans with at least 1 significant exposure to blast during deployment within the 2 years prior to study enrollment. DESIGN:: Confirmatory and exploratory factor analyses of the Rivermead Postconcussion Questionnaire. MAIN MEASURES:: Rivermead Postconcussion Questionnaire, PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) Symptom Checklist-Civilian, Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression scale, Sensory Organization Test, Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test, California Verbal Learning Test, and Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System subtests. RESULTS:: The 3-factor structure of persistent postconcussive syndrome was not confirmed. A 4-factor structure was extracted, and factors were interpreted as reflecting emotional, cognitive, visual, and vestibular functions. All factors were associated with scores on psychological symptom inventories; visual and vestibular factors were also associated with balance performance. There was no significant association between the cognitive factor and neuropsychological performance or between a history of mild traumatic brain injury and factor scores. CONCLUSION:: Persistent postconcussive symptoms observed months after blast exposure seem to be related to 4 distinct forms of distress, but not to mild traumatic brain injury per se, with vestibular and visual factors possibly related to injury of sensory organs by blast.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E34-E46
JournalJournal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 21 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Rivermead Postconcussion Questionnaire
  • blast
  • factor analysis
  • postconcussive syndrome
  • traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Neurology


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