Research Reports - Trajectories of physical health in the first 5 years after traumatic brain injury

J Neurol. 2015 Mar;262(3):523-31

Andelic N(1), Perrin PB, Forslund MV, Soberg HL, Sigurdardottir S, Sveen U,
Jerstad T, Roe C

The aims of the study were to examine whether self-reported physical health
changes over the first 5 years after traumatic brain injury (TBI), and whether
the trajectories of physical health over that time period could be predicted by
demographic and injury-related variables. A longitudinal cohort study was
conducted with 97 individuals with moderate-to-severe TBI who had been admitted
to a Trauma Referral Centre in 2005/2007. Patients were followed up at 1, 2 and
5 years post-injury. Physical health-related quality of life (HRQL) (i.e.,
physical health) was measured by four subscales of the Medical Outcomes 36-Item
Short Form Health Survey (SF-36): Physical Functioning, Role-Physical, Bodily
Pain and General Health. Only the Physical Functioning domain showed
statistically significant improvements across time. Women had lower scores on
Role-Physical, Bodily Pain (more pain) and General Health. Unemployment prior to
injury and having been in a "blue collar" physical job was associated with lower
Physical Functioning and General Health, while greater TBI severity was
associated with lower Physical Functioning, but better Role-Physical. Bodily
Pain, Role-Physical and General Health remained fairly stable over time, despite
the improvement in Physical Functioning. There were a number of significant
injury-related and demographic predictors across the four trajectories of
physical health. A better understanding of factors influencing these domains over
the first 5 years after TBI and effective pain reducing rehabilitation strategies
are needed.

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