Two people sitting in a meeting room

What is the study about?

This study compares a group of individuals who died more than one-year post-traumatic brain injury (TBI) with a matched group of survivors (up to 20 years of follow-up) to identify physical function, cognitive function, and/or psychosocial function variables associated with mortality.

What did the study find?

The study found that individuals who died were notably different from their surviving counterparts: they had significantly poorer global functioning on all physical, cognitive, and psychosocial functioning variables at their most recent follow-up prior to death.

Who participated in the study?

Participants were individuals who were enrolled in the Traumatic Brain Injury Model System National Database and were 16 years and older with a primary diagnosis of TBI.

How was the study conducted?

The researchers conducted a secondary analysis of data from a multicenter longitudinal cohort study. Physical function variables, cognitive function variables, and psychosocial function variables were used to examine the functional characteristics that may be positively impacted by strategies or intervention.

How can people use the results?

Health care practitioners/providers can use these results to develop targeted prevention interventions for individuals with TBI. Survivors and families of survivors can use these results to better understand practices to improve health and quality of life.


O’Neil-Pirozzi, Therese M., Ketchum, Jessica M., Hammond, Flora M., Phillipus, Angela, Weber, Erica, and Dams-O’Connor, Kristen (2018). Physical, cognitive, and psychosocial charcteristics associated with mortality in chronic TBI survivors: A National Insititue on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems study. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation 33(4), 237-245.


The contents of this quick review were developed under a grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR grant number 90DP0082). NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this quick review do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL, HHS, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.