Objective: Although the mechanism of post-concussion syndrome remains unclear, psychological factors are thought to be associated with its development. Cognitive behavioral therapy is the gold standard for psychological disorders; however, its effects on post-concussion syndrome remain unclear. Through this meta-analysis, we assessed the effects of cognitive behavioral therapy on post-concussion syndrome following traumatic brain injury. Methods: Six electronic databases were searched from inception to September 15, 2019, for randomized controlled trials evaluating the effects of cognitive behavioral therapy for adults with post-concussion syndrome. Primary outcomes included the severity of symptoms of post-concussion syndrome, depression, anxiety, and social integration. Secondary outcomes were fatigue, cognitive function, and quality of life. Effects were estimated through the calculation of Hedge's g and 95% confidence interval using a random effects model. Sensitivity analyses were conducted by excluding studies in which an intention-to-treat analysis was not employed. Results: In total, 24 studies were included. Most studies had risk of bias. Significant effects were found for most outcomes, except for severity of symptoms of post-concussion syndrome, fatigue, executive function, and problem solving. After sensitivity analyses, the effects of cognitive behavioral therapy remained significant for immediate and mid-term effects on depression, anxiety, and social integration. Conclusions: This study does not support the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy for severity of symptoms of post-concussion syndrome; however, it might be an effective treatment option for improving depression, anxiety, and social integration in individuals with traumatic brain injury.
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