Fear avoidance behavior after a concussion or mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is associated with a number of adverse outcomes, such as higher symptom burden, emotional distress, and disability. The Fear Avoidance Behavior after Traumatic Brain Injury Questionnaire (FAB-TBI) is a recently developed and validated self-report measure of fear avoidance after mTBI. The objective of this study was to derive clinical normative data for the FAB-TBI. To determine whether demographic stratification was necessary and to further support clinical interpretation, we also explored associations between fear avoidance behavior and demographic and injury variables.
Five concussion clinics in Canada.
Adults who sustained an mTBI (N = 563).
Participants completed the Fear Avoidance Behavior after Traumatic Brain Injury Questionnaire (FAB-TBI) and measures of postconcussion symptom burden (Rivermead Postconcussion Symptoms Questionnaire, Sport Concussion Assessment Tool-5) at clinic intake.
Generalized linear modeling revealed that females reported more fear avoidance than males (95% CI = 0.66 to 2.75), indicating that FAB-TBI normative data should be stratified by sex. Differences between recruitment sites on FAB-TBI scores were reduced but not eliminated by controlling for potential confounds. Loss of consciousness (95% CI =0.61 to 2.76) and higher postconcussion symptom burden (95% CI = 0.79 to 1.03) were also associated with higher FAB-TBI scores, but time since injury was not (95% = CI -0.4 to 0.03). Tables to convert FAB-TBI raw scores to Rasch scores to percentiles are presented.
These findings support clinical interpretation of the FAB-TBI and further study of fear avoidance after mTBI.

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