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Does neighborhood have an impact on outcome after a brain injury recovery

Categories: Outcomes

The Question

Is it possible to determine how the characteristics of one's neighborhood may be associated with outcomes after traumatic brain injury?

Past Studies

Past Studies and theory suggest that the environment can have a significant impact on a person’s ability to live independently, participate in the community and achieve life satisfaction. However, studies on the specific characteristics of one’s neighborhood that might influence outcomes after TBI have been limited. Other fields have used geographic information systems to tie a person’s residence to various sources of information about the neighborhood. For example, some researchers have looked at how the presence of healthcare resources within one’s residential neighborhood can have an effect on the outcome of various diseases and injuries.

This Study

This Study took an initial look at whether information about a person’s neighborhood could improve our ability to predict overall outcome after TBI, as well as life satisfaction. The participants included 200 people who were enrolled in the TBI Model Systems study and who had been injured 2 years or 5 years before. Information about the participants’ neighborhoods was obtained from databases available from the US Census Bureau. For example, information was obtained about the number of people in the neighborhood who were employed, the number of people who had recently moved to the neighborhood, and the number of people who commute more than 45 minutes to work. Information about each participant in the study was obtained from the TBI Model Systems database. The information about the participants and their neighborhoods was used to predict overall outcome and life satisfaction.

The study found that there are certain characteristics of one’s neighborhood that may be associated with outcomes after TBI. Characteristics of the individual have been known to predict outcomes, but it was not previously known that neighborhood characteristics also contribute to the prediction.

Who May Be Affected By These Findings

Information about how neighborhoods influence outcomes can be used to develop alternative intervention methods.


This is just the first study looking at how we might be able to study the effects of neighborhood characteristics. More research is needed with larger samples.

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Find This Study

Corrigan, J.D., & Bogner, J. (2008). Neighborhood characteristics and outcomes after traumatic brain injury. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 89, 912-921.


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