Research Reports - Predictors of global functioning and employment 10 years following traumatic brain injury compared with orthopaedic injury

Brain Inj. 2015 Dec;29(13-14):1539-46. doi: 10.3109/02699052.2015.1075141. Epub
2015 Sep 17.

Dahm J(1,)(2), Ponsford J(1,)(2,)(3).

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to prospectively investigate predictors of
global functioning and employment 10 years following traumatic brain injury (TBI)
compared with orthopaedic trauma.
RESEARCH DESIGN: Prospective cohort.
METHODS: Ninety-seven individuals with complicated mild-to-severe TBI and 91 with
traumatic orthopaedic injury were followed-up at 10 years post-injury. Global
functioning (GOS-E) and employment status were recorded.
RESULTS: Groups did not differ on global functioning or employment status.
Post-TBI, shorter PTA and less severe orthopaedic injuries were associated with
better global functioning; and shorter PTA and younger age were associated with
employment. Following traumatic orthopaedic injury, younger age was associated
with employment, but not after excluding individuals no longer in the labour
force.
CONCLUSIONS: In this sample, demographic factors and injury severity contribute
to long-term outcomes following TBI, but not orthopaedic trauma. PTA continues to
influence outcomes 10 years following TBI. There is ongoing detrimental influence
of orthopaedic injuries on global functioning for individuals with TBI,
suggesting a potential benefit in greater clinical attention to these injuries.
Further understanding of the complex interplay between these predictors and other
personal and environmental factors will contribute to improving individualized
rehabilitation.

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