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Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation

Year, Volume, Issue, Page(s):

, 31, 1, E55-E62

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Study investigated the prevalence of all severities of traumatic brain injury (TBI), regardless of treatment setting, and their associated negative outcomes. A statewide, population-based, random digit-dialed telephone survey assessed the lifetime history of TBI in 2,701 adult Coloradoans, using a modified version of the Ohio State University TBI Identification Method. Activity limitation and life satisfaction were also assessed. Results showed that the distribution of self-reported lifetime injury was as follows: 19.8 percent, no injury; 37.7 percent, injury but no TBI; 36.4 percent, mild TBI; and 6.0 percent, moderate-severe TBI. Of those reporting a TBI, 23.1 percent were hospitalized, 38.5 percent were treated in an emergency department, 9.8 percent were treated in a physician’s office, and 27.5 percent did not seek medical care. A clear gradient of activity limitations and low life satisfaction was seen, with the highest proportions of these negative outcomes occurring in people reporting more severe TBI and the lowest proportions in those not reporting a TBI. Approximately twice as many people reported activity limitations and low life satisfaction after nonhospitalized TBI compared with hospitalized TBI. This study highlights the seriousness of TBI as a public health problem and the importance of including all severities of TBI, no matter where, or if treated, in estimating the prevalence of disability co-occurring with TBI.


Whiteneck, Gale G., Cuthbert, Jeffrey P., Corrigan, John D., Bogner, Jennifer