Objective and Background: We examined sleep-related problems in adolescents and young adults after a mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) or orthopedic injury. We extended the analysis of data from a study of early emotional and neuropsychological sequelae in these populations (McCauley et al. 2014. J Neurotrauma. 31:914). Methods: We gave the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index to 77 participants with MTBI, 71 with orthopedic injury, and 43 noninjured controls. The age range was 12 to 30 years. We tested sleep quality within 96 hours of injury and at 1- and 3-month follow-up. Participants also completed measures of pain and fatigue, drug and alcohol use, and post-traumatic stress symptoms. Results: Older participants (mean age=25 years) in the MTBI group exhibited a sharp increase in sleep-related symptoms between the baseline assessment and 1 month, and still had difficulties at 3 months. Younger participants with MTBI (mean age = 15 years) and older participants with an orthopedic injury had modest increases in sleep difficulties between baseline and 1 month. The participants with MTBI also had more clinically significant sleep difficulties at all 3 assessments. At 3 months, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index scores in younger participants with MTBI and all participants with orthopedic injury did not differ significantly from the non-injured controls'. The controls had no significant change in their sleep symptoms during the 3 months. Conclusions: Sleep difficulties in young adults may persist for r3 months after MTBI and exceed those after orthopedic injury. Clinicians should seek and treat sleep-related problems after MTBI.
- Mild traumatic brain injury
- Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index
- Young adults