Cognitive and psychosocial correlates of alexithymia following traumatic brain injury

Henry, Julie D., Phillips, Louise H., Crawford, John R., Theodorou, Georgia and Summers, Fiona (2006) Cognitive and psychosocial correlates of alexithymia following traumatic brain injury. Neuropsychologia, 44 1: 62-72. doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2005.04.011

Author Henry, Julie D.
Phillips, Louise H.
Crawford, John R.
Theodorou, Georgia
Summers, Fiona
Title Cognitive and psychosocial correlates of alexithymia following traumatic brain injury
Journal name Neuropsychologia   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0028-3932
Publication date 2006
Year available 2005
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2005.04.011
Volume 44
Issue 1
Start page 62
End page 72
Total pages 11
Place of publication Oxford, U.K.
Publisher Pergamon-Elsevier Science
Collection year 2006
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Changes in emotional and social behaviour are considered to be amongst the most common and debilitating consequences of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Little is known of the effects of TBI on alexithymia, which refers to impairment in aspects of understanding emotions. In the current study TBI patients (N = 28) were compared with demographically matched healthy controls (N = 31) on the Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20 (TAS-20), a measure that taps three distinct characteristics of the alexithymia concept; difficulty in identifying emotions, difficulty in describing emotions and externally oriented thinking. Patients and controls also completed measures of anxiety, depression, quality of life, and measures of fluency to assess executive function. Patients showed greater levels of alexithymia, in terms of difficulty identifying emotions and reduced introspection. Difficulty in identifying emotions was associated with poorer quality of life, even when depression and anxiety were controlled. Difficulty in identifying emotions was also uniquely associated with executive function deficits. Thus, although studies typically focus on aspects of cognitive change following head injury, these results lend support to Becerra et al.'s (Becerra, R., Amos, A., & Jongenelis, S. (2002). Organic alexithymia: a study of acquired emotional blindness. Brain Injury, 16, 633–645.) notion of an ‘organic alexithymia’, and suggest that more attention should be focused upon assessment of emotional change post-head injury.
Keyword Emotional change
'Organic' alexithymia
Executive dysfunction
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ
Additional Notes Available online 17 May 2005.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Psychology Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 36 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 18 Apr 2011, 15:22:25 EST by Lucy O'Brien on behalf of School of Psychology