Research Reports - Trajectories of life satisfaction over the first 10 years after traumatic brain injury

J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2015 Mar 3

Williamson ML(1), Elliott TR, Bogner J, Dreer LE, Arango-Lasprilla JC,
Kolakowsky-Hayner SA, Pretz CR, Lequerica A, Perrin PB

OBJECTIVE:: This study investigated the influence of race, gender, functional
ability, and an array of preinjury, injury-related, and sociodemographic
variables on life satisfaction trajectories over 10 years following moderate to
severe traumatic brain injury (TBI).
SETTING/PARTICIPANTS:: A sample of 3157 individuals with TBI from the TBI Model
Systems database was included in this study.
DESIGN:: Hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) analyses were conducted to examine
the trajectories of life satisfaction.
MAIN MEASURES:: The Functional Independence Measure, Glasgow Coma Scale, and the
Satisfaction With Life Scale were utilized.
RESULTS:: Initial models suggested that life satisfaction trajectories increased
over the 10-year period and Asian/Pacific Islander participants experienced an
increase in life satisfaction over time. In a comprehensive model, time was no
longer a significant predictor of increased life satisfaction. Black race,
however, was associated with lower life satisfaction, and significant
interactions revealed that black participants' life satisfaction trajectory
decreased over time while white participants' trajectory increased over the same
time period. Life satisfaction trajectories did not significantly differ by
gender, and greater motor and cognitive functioning were associated with
increasingly positive life satisfaction trajectories over the 10 years.
CONCLUSION:: Individuals with more functional impairments are at risk for
decreases in life satisfaction over time. Further research is needed to identify
the mechanisms and factors that contribute to the lower levels of life
satisfaction observed among black individuals post-TBI. This work is needed to
determine strategic ways to promote optimal adjustment for these individuals.

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