Outcome 5 years post traumatic brain injury with further reference to neurophysical impairment and disability
School of Physiotherapy, University of South Australia. Brain Injury
(Impact Factor: 1.81).
10/1997; 11(9):661-75. DOI: 10.1080/026990597123214
The assessment of recovery and outcomes post-traumatic brain injury (TBI) has often been poorly researched and reported in past literature. Indeed, an accurate documentation of outcomes in this population had never been performed in the state of South Australia. To redress this situation this study collected data on people who had sustained a TBI 5 years previously, using medical records, personal interview/questionnaire and neurophysical assessment in order to investigate broad outcomes as well as the specific nature and prevalence of any residual physical impairment and disability. The results (n = 67) indicate that the subjects' living arrangements had not altered significantly, and nearly half had returned to some form of paid work, though over 50% were reliant on the welfare system. The majority (57%) felt they had improved in all areas, 19% partially improved and 8% felt they had actually deteriorated. Considering the physical data, the most frequent areas of residual impairment were headaches, followed by balance difficulties and fatigue/weakness. Functionally, 30% had some degree of deficit in upper limb activity and 9% required assistance for particular transfer tasks. Overall balance was impaired in 34% and gait was altered in 24% with 9% reliant on wheelchairs for mobility. Such data may be used in the education of people with TBI and those who live and/or work with them, as well as in future studies assessing the impact of various factors on recovery and outcomes. Evidence was also provided that residual physical issues should be considered along with the more researched areas of cognition and psychosocial issues.
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