University Of Tasmania

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The structure of the Rivermead Post-Concussion Symptoms Questionnaire in Australian adults with traumatic brain injury

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 01:00 authored by Thomas, M, Skilbeck, C, Cannan, P, Slatyer, M

Background and aims: Many sustaining traumatic brain injury (TBI) suffer ongoing post-concussion symptoms (PCS). The Rivermead Post-Concussion Symptoms Questionnaire (RPQ) is widely used, although there is disagreement about its structure. This study compared the fit of published RPQ structures with a four-factor structure derived from a large adult sample with TBI in Tasmania.

Method: 661 adults with TBI completed the RPQ at approximately one month post injury. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA), using the first half of the sample (n = 330), suggested a four-factor solution. This was compared with models reported in the literature with the second half of the sample (n = 331), using structural equation modelling. Trajectory of recovery across these factors was examined within subsamples at 1, 3, 6 and 12 months following TBI.

Results: Inter-correlations between items were strongest for somatic, cognitive and emotional functioning items and the EFA identified a four-factor model. Fit was examined utilising bootstrapping for model comparison. The data at 1 month following TBI best fitted the four-factor model (CFI = .95, RMSEA = .060 (.049–.071) and factors had adequate internal consistency (r = .61–.89). This model appeared a good fit and clinically useful across time points to 12 months post injury.

Conclusions: Data best fitted a four-factor model, identified using a rigorous statistical approach. Clinicians and clinical researchers may use this preferred model to provide more specific measurement of the severity of PCS. Future research could attempt replication within international samples.


Publication title

Brain Impairment








School of Psychological Sciences


Cambridge University Press

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

Copyright Australasian Society for the Study of Brain Impairment 2017

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Expanding knowledge in psychology