Project Details

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Professor Andrew Bagshaw

Project area or title

Sleep disturbance as a predictor of mental health and wellbeing following mild traumatic brain injury


There are 1.4 million hospital visits annually in England and Wales due to head injury. Of these patients, 85% will be classified as mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) (encompassing concussion). Many individuals with mTBI recover, but a significant proportion will have disabling long term sequelae including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, post-traumatic headache, and cognitive dysfunction. Currently, objective measures to identify those who will develop long term reductions in their mental health and wellbeing are lacking.

Sleep disturbances (e.g., short sleep duration, poor sleep efficiency, extended sleep onset latency, daytime sleepiness) are common following mTBI, affecting around 50% of patients. These can be persistent, with 50% of patients having sleep disturbances at three months and 33% at 12 months. Independently of mTBI, sleep disturbances have bidirectional relationships with many issues associated with reduced mental health and wellbeing. These links are particularly clear for depression and anxiety, as well as cognitive performance. It is therefore possible that post-mTBI sleep disturbances are one of the causes of the reduced mental health and wellbeing experienced by patients. However, the clinical importance and causal role played by sleep disturbances following mTBI is unclear.

This project will take advantage of data acquired as part of the mTBI-PREDICT study, which aims to provide a detailed clinical phenotyping of several hundred military and civilian mTBI patients. The focus will be on determining whether sleep data (actigraphy, questionnaires) acquired longitudinally over the months and years following mTBI predicts long term mental health and wellbeing.


Physical Health and Mental Health Multimorbidity


University of Birmingham

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