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The role of psychological flexibility in recovery following a concussion

24 months
Approved budget:
Dr Josh Faulkner
Professor Alice Theadom
Associate Professor Deborah Snell
Professor Suzanne Barker-Collo
Dr Susan Mahon
Mrs Kay Cunningham
Health issue:
Neurological (CNS)
Proposal type:
Foxley Fellowship
Lay summary
Concussion affects 35,000 people every year in New Zealand. It occurs following an external force to the head causing injury to the brain. Concussions can result in short and long-term psychological, physical, cognitive and social difficulties. Previous research studies have explored the frequency and outcomes following injury revealing that psychological factors play a critical role in concussion recovery. This study will build on this work by exploring the role of psychological flexibility, or the ability to shift perspective, on recovery following concussion. Understanding the role of psychological flexibility is clinically important as it can be targeted by psychological interventions to improve outcomes and may help to prevent long term burden and reduce costs. Specifically, this research aims to investigate the relationship between psychological flexibility and mood and its ability to predict longer-term symptoms, functioning outcomes and cognition. This grant was awarded to Auckland University of Technology but was later transfered to Massey University.