Short Title:Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation
Year, Volume, Issue, Page(s):17, 32, 1, 46-54
Study examined the utility of the Neurobehavioral Symptom Inventory (NSI), a measure of postconcussion symptoms used within the Veterans Health Administration (VA), as an index of rehabilitation outcome. Participants were 159 veterans (14 percent with mild TBI; 86 percent with moderate-severe TBI) enrolled in the VA Polytrauma Rehabilitation Centers Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Model Systems program. Outcome measures included: Disability Rating Scale; Functional Independence Measure; Glasgow Outcome Scale–Extended; NSI; Participation Assessment with Recombined Tools–Objective; Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist–Civilian Version; Satisfaction With Life Scale; Supervision Rating Scale. Correlations and exploratory factor analyses examined the interrelations among outcome measures. Hierarchical regression analyses were utilized to determine if the NSI predicted rehabilitation outcome measures after controlling for demographic variables, TBI severity, and time since injury. NSI reliable changes from pretreatment to 1-year follow-up were examined. Receiver operating characteristics curve analyses were conducted to evaluate the ability of changes in the NSI to predict meaningful change in functioning and employment status. Results indicated that the NSI correlated with psychological distress measures. The NSI administered prior to brain injury rehabilitation had limited predictive utility beyond satisfaction with life. A minority of patients (32 percent) demonstrated reliable changes on the NSI from baseline to 1-year follow-up. Changes on the NSI were not predictive of meaningful change in employment or functioning. The results of this study suggest that the NSI is not useful for assessing meaningful change in a sample of mixed-severity TBI patients.