Research Reports - Unique contribution of fatigue to disability in community-dwelling adults with traumatic brain injury

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2013 Jan;94(1):74-9

Juengst S, Skidmore E, Arenth PM, Niyonkuru C, Raina KD.

OBJECTIVE: To examine the unique contribution of fatigue to self-reported
disability in community-dwelling adults with traumatic brain injury (TBI).
DESIGN: A cross-sectional cohort design.
SETTING: Community dwellings.
PARTICIPANTS: Adults (N=50) with a history of mild to severe TBI were assessed.
INTERVENTION: Not applicable.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: This study assessed the contribution of fatigue (Modified
Fatigue Impact Scale) to disability (Mayo-Portland Adaptability Inventory),
controlling for executive functions (Frontal Systems Behavior Scale), depression
status (major depression in partial remission/current major depression/depressive
symptoms or no history of depression), and initial injury severity (uncomplicated
mild, complicated mild, moderate, or severe).
RESULTS: Fatigue was found to contribute uniquely to the variance in
self-reported disability (β=.47, P<.001) after controlling for injury severity,
executive functions, and depression status. The overall model was significant
(F(4,45)=17.32, P<.001) and explained 61% of the variance in self-reported
disability, with fatigue alone accounting for 12% of the variance in
self-reported disability (F(1,45)=13.97, P<.001).
CONCLUSIONS: Fatigue contributes uniquely to disability status among
community-dwelling adults with chronic TBI, independent of injury severity,
executive functions, and depression. Addressing fatigue through targeted
interventions may help to improve self-perceived disability in this population.

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