Depression and neuropsychological test peformance in acute spinal cord injury patients: Lack of correlation

Gary Davidoff*, Elliot Roth, Paula Thomas, Robert Doljanac, Marcel Dijkers, Stanley Berent, Jeri Morris, Gary Yarkony

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Factors which have been causally related to neuropsychological deficits in acute spinal cord injury (SCI) patients include advanced age, limited educational level, acute traumatic brain injury, alcohol and/or substance abuse. Concomitant depression may impair motivation, prolong reaction time, and produce fatigue during neuropsychological testing, resulting in impaired performance. To test the hypothesis that abnormal neuropsychologic test results may be associated with depression, the Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale (ZUNG) and a comprehensive, predominantly motor-free neuropsychological test battery were administered to 66 acute SCI patients approximately 8 weeks following injury. Spinal cord injury groups were dichotomized based on their ZUNG scores. Comparison of neuropsychological test scores between SCI groups failed to demonstrate any impairment in neuropsychological performance, within the limits of the test battery administered, suggesting that cognitive performance in this sample of acute SCI patients may not be influenced by the presence of depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-88
Number of pages12
JournalArchives of Clinical Neuropsychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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