Mental effort and recovery from task-induced fatigue in people with traumatic brain injury


Purpose: This exploratory case-controlled study examined whether the same amount of effort leads to similar feelings of fatigue and whether feelings of fatigue decline at the same rate in people with traumatic brain injury (pwTBI) compared to controls. Methods: Twenty pwTBI and 20 healthy controls (HC) completed an adaptive n-back task to induce fatigue and reported mental effort upon task completion and state-fatigue pre-task and several times during 30-minutes rest-period post-task. Task difficulty adapted to performance allowing both groups to invest substantial amounts of mental effort. Results: Fatigue and effort levels were higher in pwTBI compared to controls. Multiple linear regression analyses showed that effort was positively related to post-task fatigue and this relationship did not differ between groups. Pre-task fatigue was the only predictor of post-task fatigue. Multilevel models showed no significant difference in decline of fatigue over the rest-period between groups. Conclusions: Excessive feelings of fatigue following TBI could not be explained by a higher vulnerability to the fatigue-inducing effects of mental effort needed to perform a specific task. In pwTBI pre-task fatigue levels might be more related to the complex demands of everyday life. Future studies should investigate recovery of fatigue and applications of this knowledge to rehabilitation interventions.

Metadata Access
Creator Bruijel, Jessica (Maastricht University); Vermeeren, Annemiek (Maastricht University); Stapert, Sven Z. (Maastricht University); van Heugten, Caroline (Maastricht University)
Publisher DataverseNL
Contributor faculty data manager FPN; Bruijel, Jessica
Publication Year 2022
Rights info:eu-repo/semantics/restrictedAccess
OpenAccess false
Contact faculty data manager FPN (Maastricht University); Bruijel, Jessica (Maastricht University)
Resource Type cognitive task data; Dataset
Format text/csv; application/x-spss-sav
Size 19538; 19695
Version 1.0
Discipline Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Aquaculture; Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Aquaculture and Veterinary Medicine; Life Sciences; Social Sciences; Social and Behavioural Sciences; Soil Sciences