To identify a screening tool for poor self-reported sleep quality at 12 weeks according to non-invasive measurements and patients’ characteristics in the first week after mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), data from 473 mTBI participants were collected and follow-ups were performed at 12 weeks. Patients with previous poor self-reported sleep quality prior to the injury were excluded. Patients were then divided into two groups at 12 weeks according to the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index based on whether or not they experienced poor sleep quality. The analysis was performed on personal profiles and heart rate variability (HRV) for 1 week. After analyzing the non-invasive measurements and characteristics of mTBI patients who did not complain of poor sleep quality, several factors were found to be relevant to the delayed onset of poor sleep quality, including age, gender, and HRV measurements. The HRV–age–gender (HAG) index was proposed and found to have 100% sensitivity (cut-off, 7; specificity, 0.537) to predicting whether the patient will experience poor sleep quality after mTBI at the 12-week follow-up. The HAG index helps us to identify patients with mTBI who have no sleep quality complaints but are prone to developing poor self-reported sleep quality. Additional interventions to improve sleep quality would be important for these particular patients in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1369
JournalBrain Sciences
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


  • Heart rate variability
  • Mild traumatic brain injury
  • Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index
  • Sleep quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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