A meta-analysis of neuropsychological outcome after mild traumatic brain injury: re-analyses and reconsiderations of Binder et al

Author(s): Rohling ML, Binder LM, Demakis GJ, Larrabee GJ, Ploetz DM, et al.


The meta-analytic findings of Binder et al. (1997) and Frencham et al. (2005) showed that the neuropsychological effect of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) was negligible in adults by 3 months post injury. Pertab et al. (2009) reported that verbal paired associates, coding tasks, and digit span yielded significant differences between mTBI and control groups. We re-analyzed data from the 25 studies used in the prior meta-analyses, correcting statistical and methodological limitations of previous efforts, and analyzed the chronicity data by discrete epochs. Three months post injury the effect size of -0.07 was not statistically different from zero and similar to that which has been found in several other meta-analyses (Belanger et al., 2005; Schretlen & Shapiro, 2003). The effect size 7 days post injury was -0.39. The effect of mTBI immediately post injury was largest on Verbal and Visual Memory domains. However, 3 months post injury all domains improved to show non-significant effect sizes. These findings indicate that mTBI has an initial small effect on neuropsychological functioning that dissipates quickly. The evidence of recovery in the present meta-analysis is consistent with previous conclusions of both Binder et al. and Frencham et al. Our findings may not apply to people with a history of multiple concussions or complicated mTBIs.

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