Cognitive functioning and its relation to frontal functioning after acquired brain injury as observed by patients with neuropsychiatric symptoms and their significant others
Self-reported functioning, in contrast to functioning as reported by informants, often does not correspond to the actual cognitive functioning of patients after acquired brain injury (ABI). Therefore the aim of the study was to investigate the difference between reports of patients’ frontal functioning by patients’ and informants’ measured with the Frontal Systems Behavioural Scale (FrSBe), and whether patients’ cognitive functioning was associated with either reports of frontal functioning. It was expected that patients and informants would differ in their ratings of the patients’ frontal functioning and that patients’ cognitive performance on various tests for measuring executive functioning, would not be related to patient’s own ratings in contrast to informants’ ratings. We used data from patients with ABI and neuropsychiatric symptoms (N=84) and their informants (N=53). It was found that patients and informants did not differ in their ratings of patients’ frontal functioning. Additionally, cognitive performance was not related to either patients or informants reports, suggesting that cognitive tests for executive functioning and the FrSBe measure different constructs. However, a significant association (β=-.403, p=.042) was found between verbal fluency and patients’ self-reported frontal functioning. This suggests that problems with verbal fluency are more apparent to patients than to informants in daily living and that verbal fluency is a good indicator of self-perceived frontal functioning. However the small sample size makes interpretation difficult. Awareness and various injury-related variables are possibly important factors and could be considered by future studies on the association of cognitive functioning and self-reported functioning in this unique population.