Background: This research study examined the prevalence of prescription medication use in persons many years following moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Design: Retrospective cohort study.
Setting and subjects: Consecutive records were examined of persons with moderate-to-severe TBI who were discharged from a large rehabilitation hospital in Pennsylvania from 1973-1989. Consenting participants (n = 306) were interviewed, who were traced up to 24 years post-injury. Data on current use of prescription medications, in addition to demographic characteristics and health conditions were collected from the participants.
Results: The prevalence of prescription medication was 58.9% in the sample, greater in females (65.6%) than in males (56.1%). The most prescribed medication types were anti-convulsants (25.8%) followed by anti-depressants (8.2%), painkillers (8.2%) and anti-anxiety medications (5.9%). On average, persons with TBI were prescribed 2.64 (SD = 2.14) medications with a range of 1-12.
Conclusion: The research findings indicate a high prevalence of prescription medications in persons with past history of TBI. There is also a high prevalence of anti-convulsants medication use.