Changes in coping strategies, social support, optimism and health-related quality of life following traumatic brain injury: a longitudinal study

Brain Inj. 2007 May;21(5):479-88. doi: 10.1080/02699050701311737.


Primary objective: To study longitudinal changes in psychological coping strategies, social support, life orientation and health-related quality of life in the late period after traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Subjects: Thirty-one patients with TBI who were first investigated on average 2.3 years after injury and were prospectively followed on average 5.7 years later.

Methods: Estonian versions of the COPE-D Test, the Brief Social Support Questionnaire, the Life Orientation Test and the RAND-36 questionnaire.

Results: During the late follow-up period health-related quality of life and resuming work did not improve significantly. Persons with TBI reported an increase in seeking social/emotional support (p<0.05), frequent use of avoidance-oriented styles and reduced use of task-oriented styles. This was accompanied by low social support and low satisfaction with support, both of which were associated with health-related quality of life and resuming work after TBI. Although the patients had become more optimistic (p<0.05), this did not correlate with their health status and social well-being.

Conclusions: This prospective study revealed maladaptive changes in the profile of coping strategies and an increase in optimism. As social support, satisfaction with support and health-related quality of life did not improve, then rehabilitation, social and psychological support are continuously needed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brain Injuries / complications
  • Brain Injuries / psychology*
  • Brain Injuries / rehabilitation
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Quality of Life*
  • Social Support*
  • Temperament*
  • Time Factors