|dc.description.abstract||Little research has been undertaken into the prevalence and characteristics of the acute symptoms following mild head injury, especially within the first month. This study recruited 75 mild head injury patients identified by the Christchurch Hospital Emergency Department and followed them up at 1 week, 1 month and 3 months via questionnaire over the phone. Participants described their symptoms in their own words before being asked more specific questions by the researcher, who then determined which type of headache and dizziness were present, along with the prevalence of other symptoms.
The major causes of these mild head injuries were physical altercation (22, 29%) and sports injury (22, 29%), with the remainder due to household accidents (7, 9%), traffic accidents (6, 8%) and “other” (18, 24%). Forty-seven participants were male and 28 were female, and the response rate was 56.4%. The number of participants with headaches decreased with each follow up, 55 (73%) on presentation, 37 (49%) at one week, 22 (32%) at one month, and 11 (27%) at three months. The most common type of headache was consistently tension-type (one week, 35%, one month, 26%, three months, 36%), with the amount of other types varying at each follow up. The number of participants with dizziness was 14 (19%) on presentation, 18 (24%) at one week, 9 (13%) at one month and 3 (6%) at three months. The number of participants whose dizziness occurred with position change at one week was 12 (16%), at one month was 7 (10%), and at three months was 3 (6%).
The data provided in this study contributed to the literature surrounding mild head injury and the acute symptoms, especially headaches and dizziness, following it. The fact that tension-type headaches are the most common type of acute post-traumatic headache is of great interest, as is the information that the majority of all headaches have resolved by the three month follow up. Novel information was also reported for dizziness. The prevalence of dizziness increased from presentation to the one week follow up and the resolution differed between dizziness occurring with position change and dizziness occurring without position change, with dizziness occurring with position change being the only type to persist past the 3 month follow up. An extension of this study with greater numbers is indicated.||