Research Reports - Trajectories of life satisfaction after traumatic brain injury

Rehabil Psychol. 2015 Nov;60(4):353-64. doi: 10.1037/rep0000056.
Juengst SB(1), Adams LM(2), Bogner JA(3), Arenth PM(1), O'Neil-Pirozzi TM(4),
Dreer LE(5), Hart T(6), Bergquist TF(7), Bombardier CH(2), Dijkers MP(8), Wagner
AK(1).

OBJECTIVES: (a) Identify life satisfaction trajectories after moderate to severe
traumatic brain injury (TBI); (b) establish a predictive model for these
trajectories across the first 5 years postinjury; and (c) describe differences in
these life satisfaction trajectory groups, focusing on age, depressive symptoms,
disability, and participation in specific life roles.
RESEARCH METHOD: Analysis of the longitudinal TBI Model Systems National Database
was performed on data collected prospectively at 1-, 2-, and 5-years post-TBI.
Participants (n = 3,012) had a moderate to severe TBI and were 16 years old and
older.
RESULTS: Four life satisfaction trajectories were identified across the first 5
years postinjury, including: stable satisfaction, initial satisfaction declining,
initial dissatisfaction improving, and stable dissatisfaction. Age, depressive
symptoms, cognitive disability, and life role participation as a worker, leisure
participant, and/ or religious participant at 1-year postinjury significantly
predicted trajectory group membership. Life role participation and depressive
symptoms were strong predictors of life satisfaction trajectories across the
first 5 years post-TBI.
CONCLUSIONS: The previously documented loss of life roles and prevalence of
depression after a moderate to severe TBI make this a vulnerable population for
whom low or declining life satisfaction is a particularly high risk. Examining
individual life role participation may help to identify relevant foci for
community-based rehabilitation interventions or supports. 

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