Model system researchers have examined the factors associated with mortality among individuals aged 16 years and older who were more than one year post- traumatic brain injury (TBI). Their article: O’Neil-Pirozzi- T, Ketchum JM, Hammond FM, Phillipus A, Weber E, Dams-O’Connor K. “Physical, cognitive, and psychosocial characteristics associated with mortality in chronic TBI survivors: A National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems Study” was published by the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation 2018 Jul/Aug;33(4):237-245. (doi: 10.1097/HTR.0000000000000365).
The research team, which included investigators from five regional TBI Model Systems, analyzed data from the database of the TBI Model System National Data and Statistical Center. They identified 1,163 decedents and 10,839 matched controls, and examined the following physical, cognitive and psychosocial outcomes: Functional Independence Measure (FIM), Extended Glasgow Outcome Scale, Disability Rating Scale, Participation Assessment with Recombined Tool Objective, and Satisfaction With Life Scale.
“Among individuals who died, we found significantly poorer performance on all measures,” noted co-author Erica Weber, PhD, research scientist in TBI Research at Kessler Foundation, and an investigator with the Northern New Jersey TBI Model System. “Most significant was the difference in FIM Motor scores, which points to independence in mobility as an important factor for long-term survival in this population. Another big difference was in community participation,” she added.
The study shows the need for longer and more detailed study of health and lifestyle factors in the TBI population. “By identifying modifiable risk factors, we can develop strategies for prevention and early intervention, which will reduce the risk of death and improve the lives of individuals and caregivers,” concluded Dr. Weber.