Recommendations for the use of common outcome measures in traumatic brain injury research

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2010 Nov;91(11):1650-1660.e17. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2010.06.033.


This article summarizes the selection of outcome measures by the interagency Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Outcomes Workgroup to address primary clinical research objectives, including documentation of the natural course of recovery from TBI, prediction of later outcome, measurement of treatment effects, and comparison of outcomes across studies. Consistent with other Common Data Elements Workgroups, the TBI Outcomes Workgroup adopted the standard 3-tier system in its selection of measures. In the first tier, core measures included valid, robust, and widely applicable outcome measures with proven utility in TBI from each identified domain, including global level of function, neuropsychological impairment, psychological status, TBI-related symptoms, executive functions, cognitive and physical activity limitations, social role participation, and perceived health-related quality of life. In the second tier, supplemental measures were recommended for consideration in TBI research focusing on specific topics or populations. In the third tier, emerging measures included important instruments currently under development, in the process of validation, or nearing the point of published findings that have significant potential to be superior to some older ("legacy") measures in the core and supplemental lists and may eventually replace them as evidence for their utility emerges.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain Injuries / therapy*
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Humans
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / standards*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • Quality of Life
  • Research Design / standards*