Primary objective: On a national basis to conduct a 5, 10 and 15 year follow-up study of representative samples of survivors after traumatic brain injury (TBI) and to identify factors of importance for long-term survival and life satisfaction after TBI occurring in 1982, 1987 or 1992.
Research design: Epidemiological, register-based questionnaire survey.
Main outcomes, result and conclusions: Out of 389 survivors randomly chosen from a national complete hospital register, 173 had suffered a cranial fracture, 186 a cerebral lesion (brain contusion or traumatic haemorrhage) and 30 patients a chronic subdural haematoma. Out of 337 survivors found eligible for a questionnaire, 76% responded. Among the data registered according to the above mentioned areas, the main findings were that 23-31% of the cerebral lesion responders were unable to maintain earlier work/education at pre-injury level, against up to 14% of cranial fracture patients. Significantly more cerebral lesion patients than cranial fracture patients found emotional control more difficult, as well as increased difficulties with memory and concentration, maintenance of leisure time interests and general life satisfaction. In the long run, an important factor influencing survival among cerebral lesion patients seemed to be whether relations with family and friends could be maintained at the pre-injury level.