Content » Vol 48, Issue 5

Original report

Factors associated with long-term functional and psychological outcomes in persons with moderate to severe traumatic brain injury

Fary Khan, Bhasker Amatya, Rodney Judson, Pearl Chung, Melinda Truesdale, Alaeldin Elmalik, Mary P. Galea
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Royal Melbourne Hospital, 34-54 Poplar Road, Parkville, Melbourne VIC 3052, Australia. E-mail:
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-2084


Objective: To examine factors impacting long-term functional and psychological outcomes in persons with moderate-severe traumatic brain injury.
Methods: A prospective cross-sectional study (n = 103) assessed the long-term (up to 5 years) impact of traumatic brain injury on participants’ current activity and restriction in participation using validated questionnaires.
Results: Participants’ median age was 49. 5 years (interquartile range (IQR) 20. 4–23. 8), the majority were male (77%), and 49% had some form of previous rehabilitation. The common causes of traumatic brain injury were falls (42%) and motor vehicle accidents (27%). Traumatic brain injury-related symptoms were: pain/headache (47%), dizziness (36%), bladder/bowel impairment (34%), and sensory-perceptual deficits (34%). Participants reported minimal change in their physical function and cognition (Functional Assessment Measure: motor (median 102, IQR 93–111) and cognition (median 89, IQR 78–95)). Participants were well-adjusted to community-living; however, they reported high levels of depression. Factors significantly associated with poorer current level of functioning/well-being included: older age (≥ 60 years), presence of traumatic brain injury-related symptoms, a lack of previous rehabilitation and those classified in “severe disability categories” at admission. Caregivers reported high levels of strain and burden (55%).
Conclusion: Cognitive and psychosocial problems are more commonly reported than physical disability in the longer-term. A greater focus on participation and ageing with disability in these persons is needed.

Lay Abstract


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