Medical College of Wisconsin
CTSICores SearchResearch InformaticsREDCap

Relationship Between Neighborhood Disadvantage and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Symptoms. J Head Trauma Rehabil 2023 Mar-Apr 01;38(2):165-174



Pubmed ID


Pubmed Central ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-85149809439 (requires institutional sign-in at Scopus site)   1 Citation


OBJECTIVE: To test the hypotheses that (1) higher neighborhood disadvantage is associated with greater injury-related symptom severity in civilians with mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and (2) neighborhood disadvantage remains predictive after controlling for other established predictors.

SETTING: Level 1 trauma center and affiliated academic medical center.

PARTICIPANTS: N = 171 individuals with mTBI.

DESIGN: Prospective cohort study.

MAIN MEASURES: Rivermead Post Concussion Symptoms Questionnaire (RPQ) total score assessed less than 24 hours and at 2 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months postinjury. Linear mixed-effects models were used to assess the relationship between predictor variables and mTBI-related symptom burden (RPQ score). Neighborhood disadvantage was quantified by the Area Deprivation Index (ADI), a composite of 17 markers of socioeconomic position (SEP) scored at the census block group level.

RESULTS: Individuals in the upper ADI quartile of the national distribution displayed higher RPQ symptoms than those in the lower 3 quartiles ( P < .001), with a nonsignificant ADI × visit interaction ( P = .903). In a multivariable model, the effect of ADI remained significant ( P = .034) after adjusting for demographics, individual SEP, and injury factors. Other unique predictors in the multivariable model were gender (gender × visit P = .035), health insurance type ( P = .017), and injury-related litigation ( P = .012).

CONCLUSION: Neighborhood disadvantage as quantified by the ADI is robustly associated with greater mTBI-related symptom burden throughout the first 6 months postinjury. That the effect of ADI remained after controlling for demographics, individual SEP, and injury characteristics implies that neighborhood disadvantage is an important, understudied factor contributing to clinical recovery from mTBI.

Author List

Miller T, Kallenbach MD, Huber DL, Brett BL, Nelson LD


Benjamin Brett PhD Assistant Professor in the Neurosurgery department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Lindsay D. Nelson PhD Associate Professor in the Neurosurgery department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Brain Concussion
Insurance, Health
Post-Concussion Syndrome
Prospective Studies
Trauma Centers