Short Title:The feasibility of telephone-administered cognitive testing in individuals 1 and 2 years after inpatient rehabilitation for traumatic brain injury.
Journal:Journal of Neurotrauma
Year, Volume, Issue, Page(s):18, 35, 10, 1138-1145
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) often results in cognitive impairment, and trajectories of cognitive functioning can vary tremendously over time across survivors. Traditional approaches to measuring cognitive performance require face-to-face administration of a battery of objective neuropsychological tests, which can be time- and labor-intensive. There are numerous clinical and research contexts in which in-person testing is undesirable or unfeasible, including clinical monitoring of older adults or individuals with disability for whom travel is challenging, and epidemiological studies of geographically dispersed participants. A telephone-based method for measuring cognition could conserve resources and improve efficiency. The objective of this study is to examine the feasibility and usefulness of the Brief Test of Adult Cognition by Telephone (BTACT) among individuals who are 1 and 2 years post-moderate-to-severe TBI. A total of 463 individuals participated in the study at Year 1 post-injury, and 386 participated at Year 2. The sample was mostly male (73%) and white (59%), with an average age of (mean ± standard deviation) 47.9 ± 20.9 years, and 73% experienced a duration of post-traumatic amnesia (PTA) greater than 7 days. A majority of participants were able to complete the BTACT subtests (61-69% and 56-64% for Years 1 and 2 respectively); score imputation for those unable to complete a test due to severity of cognitive impairment yields complete data for 74-79% of the sample. BTACT subtests showed expected changes between Years 1-2, and summary scores demonstrated expected associations with injury severity, employment status, and cognitive status as measured by the Functional Independence Measure. Results indicate it is feasible, efficient, and useful to measure cognition over the telephone among individuals with moderate-severe TBI.