Short Title:Rehabilitation Psychology
Year, Volume, Issue, Page(s):15, 60, 4, 353-364
Study identified life satisfaction trajectories after moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury (TBI), identified factors at 1-year postinjury that predict these life satisfaction trajectories, and determined how individuals in distinct life satisfaction trajectory groups differ from one another. Data were collected at 1, 2, and 5 years post TBI from 3,012 participants aged 16 years old and older with moderate-to-severe TBI who were enrolled in the TBI Model Systems National Database. Four life satisfaction trajectories were identified across the first 5 years after injury, including: stable satisfaction, initial satisfaction declining, initial dissatisfaction improving, and stable dissatisfaction. Age, depressive symptoms, cognitive disability, and life role participation as a worker, leisure participant, and/ or religious participant at 1-year postinjury significantly predicted trajectory group membership. Life role participation and depressive symptoms were strong predictors of life satisfaction trajectories across the first 5 years after TBI. The previously documented loss of life roles and prevalence of depression after moderate-to-severe TBI make this a vulnerable population for whom low or declining life satisfaction is a particularly high risk. The findings highlight the importance of addressing depressive symptoms and participation early after TBI.