Objective: To examine changes in functional status of children with traumatic brain injury by identifying the pattern and amount of change between and within the domains of self-care, mobility, and social function during inpatient rehabilitation and to examine the relationships of age and injury severity to functional recovery.
Design: Retrospective descriptive study. Seventy-nine children and adolescents with traumatic brain injury were assessed at inpatient rehabilitation hospital admission and discharge by using the Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory's (PEDI) functional skills and caregiver assistance domains of self-care, mobility, and social function.
Results: Admission self-care functional levels were significantly greater than mobility and social function for both PEDI scales. At discharge, significant improvement was noted within all three domains and the amount of change between domains was significantly greater for the mobility domain on both scales. Age was not related to the amount of recovery. Admission functional status was moderately negatively correlated to the change in PEDI scores (ranging from r = -0.432 to -0.681).
Conclusions: Variations exist in the recovery of self-care, mobility, and social function capability and independence during inpatient rehabilitation. Self-care was the least affected. Participants showed significant improvement in all domains, with the most recovery in mobility. Children with greater functional deficits demonstrated greater functional gains.