Year, Volume, Issue, Page(s):19, 34, 1, 52-61
Background: Volunteering has been found to improve life satisfaction and participation in the general population, but its impact has not been thoroughly studied among those with traumatic brain injury (TBI). It is important to investigate whether volunteering is helpful in addressing participation and life satisfaction to inform future treatment.
Objective: To characterize those who volunteer after moderate-severe TBI and to investigate the association of volunteering with participation and life satisfaction after TBI.
Methods: Using data from a single site contributing to the TBI Model Systems National Database, a retrospective analysis of 725 individuals with TBI was conducted. General Linear Models were used to compare outcomes of those who volunteer and those who do not after controlling for important covariates.
Results: Volunteers were more likely to be employed/students, have better current functioning, be further post-injury, non-Hispanic white, and have more education. Significant relationships, after controlling for covariates, were found between volunteering and higher life satisfaction, more frequent community engagement, and greater social relations. No significant relationship between volunteering and productivity emerged.
Conclusions: Given the positive relationship between volunteer status with life satisfaction and aspects of participation, future research should investigate the barriers/facilitators of volunteering to improve well-being and participation after TBI.