Objectives: To examine the occurrence of and characteristics associated with violent traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems (TBIMS) project for 4 of the 5 original Model Systems centers and to determine the patient characteristics of this group, as well as the risk factors for sustaining such an injury.
Design: Prospective evaluation of individuals with violent TBI over a 10-year period.
Setting: Four TBIMS centers.
Participants: A total of 1,229 individuals who received acute hospitalization and inpatient rehabilitation care for TBI.
Interventions: Not applicable.
Main outcome measure: The occurrence of a violent TBI.
Results: Twenty-six percent of the participants in the TBIMS project sustained a violent TBI. This type of injury was more common in African-American men who were single and slightly older than the average TBI patient, were unemployed before injury, and had had a previous TBI. A higher injury rate was noted in the earlier part of the evaluation period. Those who sustained a violent TBI had higher levels of caregiver burden and disability, as well as decreased productivity and community reintegration at rehabilitation discharge and at 1 and 2 years postinjury.
Conclusions: The occurrence of violent TBI in the TBIMS project is consistent with national trends of decreasing incidence of violent injuries in the 1990s. These results present a profile of those who have been injured through violence. The relative risks for sustaining such an injury appear to be well defined when considering demographic and temporal factors.