Journal:Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Year, Volume, Issue, Page(s):10, 91, 3, 489-97
Objective: To investigate aging with traumatic brain injury (TBI) by determining if long-term outcomes after TBI are predicted by years postinjury and age at injury after controlling for the severity of the injury and sex. Design: Cross-sectional follow-up telephone survey. Setting: Community residents who had received initial treatment in a comprehensive inpatient rehabilitation hospital.Participants: Survivors of TBI (N 243) stratified by years postinjury (in seven 5-year cohorts ranging from 1 to over 30 years postinjury) and by age at injury (in 2 cohorts of people injured before or after age 30). Interventions: None.Main Outcome Measures: Measures of postconcussive symptoms, major secondary conditions including fatigue (Modified Fatigue Impact Scale), physical and cognitive activity limitations (FIM, Alertness Behavior Subscale of the Sickness Impact Profile,Medical Outcomes Study 12-Item Health Status Survey Short Form), societal participation restrictions (Craig Handicap Assessment and Reporting Technique), environmental barriers (Craig Hospital Inventory of Environmental Factors), and perceived quality of life (Satisfaction with Life Scale). Results: Most problems identified by the outcome measures were reported by one fourth to one half of the study participants.Increasing decades postinjury predicted declines in physical and cognitive functioning, declines in societal participation, and increases in contractures. Increasing age at injury predicted declines in functional independence, increases in fatigue, declines in societal participation, and declines in perceived environmental barriers. Conclusions: This investigation has increased our understanding of the aging process after TBI by demonstrating that both components of aging (years postinjury and age at injury) are predictive of several outcomes after TBI.