Functional Changes between One and Five Years after Injury
Categories: Recovery - Long Term
What changes in functional ability and employability take place between one and five years after traumatic brain injury?
Past Studies show that emerging from a coma, communicating, and caring for oneself
This study focused on 301 individuals that received inpatient rehabilitation for traumatic brain injury. The researchers obtained medical record information about the participants by interview and examination of their data in the Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems National Database. The researchers used sections of the Disability Rating Scale (DRS) to measure function and employability. The DRS measures general functional changes over the course of recovery. The researchers created a point system to categorize the amount of change in functioning that individuals made between one and five years after injury.
The researchers found that the majority of participants (76%) stayed at the same level of functioning between one and five years after injury. Eighteen percent of the individuals improved, and seven percent became worse. Higher abilities to process thoughts and produce body movements were factors associated with improved functional ratings. Lower thought processing speed and poor attention span were factors linked with decreased functional ratings.
The majority of the participants (79%) remained at the same level of employability between one and five years after injury. Seventeen percent of the individuals improved, and five percent became worse.
Who May Be Affected By These Findings
Individuals with traumatic brain injury and their loved ones, healthcare providers, researchers.
The point scale used by the researchers to measure
Although the majority of participants did not make meaningful changes during year one to five, some individuals made dramatic gains and a small number of individuals became worse. It appears that some individual characteristics and abilities at the one-year mark may be predictive of future functional and employability changes.
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Find This Study
Hammond, F. M., Grattan, K. D., Sasser, H., Corrigan, J. D., Rosenthal, M., Bushnik, T., & Shull, W. (2004). Five years after traumatic brain injury: A study of individual outcomes and predictors of change in function. NeuroRehabilitation, 19,