Research Reports - Longitudinal follow-up of patients with traumatic brain injury: Outcome at 2, 5, and 10-years post-injury

J Neurotrauma. 2013 Jul 26

Ponsford J, Downing M, Olver J, Ponsford M, Acher R, Carty M, Spitz G

Abstract Introduction: The deleterious consequences of traumatic brain injury
(TBI) impair capacity to return to many avenues of premorbid life. However, there
has been limited longitudinal research examining outcome beyond five years
post-injury. The aim of this study was to examine aspects of function, previously
shown to be affected following TBI, over a span of 10 years. Materials and
Methods: One hundred and forty one patients with TBI were assessed at two, five,
and 10 years post-injury using the Structured Outcome Questionnaire. Results:
Fatigue and balance problems were the most common neurological symptoms, with
reported rates decreasing only slightly over the 10-year period. Mobility
outcomes were good in over 75 percent, with few participants requiring aids for
mobility. Changes in cognitive, communication, behavioral and emotional functions
were reported by approximately 60% of the sample at all time-points. Levels of
independence in activities of daily living were high over the 10-year period, and
up to 70 percent return to driving. Nevertheless, approximately 40% required more
support than before their injury. Only half of the sample returned to previous
leisure activities and less than half were employed at each assessment time
post-injury. Whilst marital status remained surprisingly stable over time,
approximately 30% reported difficulties in personal relationships. Older age at
injury did not substantially alter the pattern of changes over time, except in
employment. Conclusions: Overall, problems that were evident at 2 years
post-injury persisted until 10 years post-injury. The importance of these
findings is discussed with reference to rehabilitation programs. Keywords:
traumatic brain injury, functional outcome, structured outcome questionnaire.

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