Global Outcome Trajectories after TBI among Survivors and Nonsurvivors: A National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems Study

Kristen Dams-O'Connor, Christopher Pretz, Tausif Billah, Flora M. Hammond, Cynthia Harrison-Felix

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations


Objective: To compare long-term functional outcome trajectories of individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI) who survive with those who expire more than 5 years postinjury, using individual growth curve analysis. Design: Secondary analysis of data from a multicenter longitudinal cohort study. Setting: Acute inpatient rehabilitation facilities that are current or former TBI Model Systems. Participants: Individuals 16 years and older with a primary diagnosis of TBI. Main Outcome Measures: Glasgow Outcome Scale-Extended; Disability Rating Scale. Results: Individuals in the TBI Model Systems who expire several years after injury demonstrate worse functional status at baseline and a steeper rate of decline over time as measured by both the Glasgow Outcome Scale-Extended and the Disability Rating Scale. There was significant variability in each growth parameter (P <.05) for both instruments. A reduced model was built for each outcome, including all covariates that related significantly to the growth parameters. An interactive tool was created for each outcome to generate individual-level trajectories based on various combinations of covariate values. Conclusion: Individuals with TBI who die several years after injury demonstrate functional trajectories that differ markedly from those of survivors. Opportunities should be sought for health management interventions to improve health and longevity after TBI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E1-E10
JournalJournal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 30 2015



  • disability
  • global outcome
  • longitudinal outcomes
  • mortality
  • traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Neurology

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