Research Reports - Frequency and quality of return to study following traumatic brain injury

J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2014 Jan 9

Willmott C, Ponsford J, Downing M, Carty M

OBJECTIVE:: To examine the frequency and experience of return to secondary or
tertiary study over a 10-year period following traumatic brain injury (TBI).
PARTICIPANTS:: A group of 295 students with moderate to severe TBI followed
prospectively.
SETTING:: Epworth HealthCare TBI outpatient rehabilitation program follow-up
clinic 1 to 10 years postinjury.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:: Frequency of return to study. Also, for a subset, changes
in course enrollment, utilization of additional educational supports, and
experience of return to study postinjury.
RESULTS:: Of those studying preinjury, 295 attended the follow-up clinic
appointments, with 167 (56%) having returned to study. Those who did not return
to study had significantly longer posttraumatic amnesia duration. The
cross-sectional follow-up revealed that 60.4% were studying at 1 year postinjury,
37.5% at 2 years postinjury, 50.0% at 3 years postinjury, 31.1% at 5 years
postinjury, and 2.0% at 10 years postinjury. Many had migrated into employment. A
subsample of 95 participants reported on their educational experience. Of those,
28.7% changed their course enrollment from full-time to part-time. While supports
such as tuition and special consideration were greatly increased postinjury,
students reported the proportion of subjects passed of 79.0%. However, they
experienced cognitive difficulties and fatigue and felt less satisfied with their
studies.
CONCLUSIONS:: Return to study was relatively successful; however, this was
associated with the experience of fatigue and need for far greater effort,
assistance and reduced study hours, and somewhat less overall satisfaction.
 

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