A survey of very-long-term outcomes after traumatic brain injury among members of a population-based incident cohort

J Neurotrauma. 2011 Feb;28(2):167-76. doi: 10.1089/neu.2010.1400. Epub 2011 Feb 5.


To assess quality of life and barriers to participation in vocational and community life for persons with traumatic brain injury (TBI) over the very-long term, a population-based cohort was identified in Olmsted County, Minnesota; 1623 individuals were identified as having experienced a confirmed TBI while a resident of Olmsted County, Minnesota, during the period from 1935-2000. A survey was sent to eligible individuals that included elements of standardized instruments addressing health status and disability, and questions that assessed issues important to successful social reintegration after TBI. Of 1623 eligible participants sent surveys, 605 responded (37% response rate). Thirty-nine percent of respondents were female and 79% had mild injuries. Mean age at injury was 30.8 years, and mean years since injury was 28.8. Overall, respondents reported living in the community; the majority were married and had achieved education beyond high school. Problems with memory, thinking, and physical and emotional health were most often reported. Respondents reported low levels of depression and anxiety, and high levels of satisfaction with life. Seventy-three percent of respondents reported no problems that they attributed to their TBI. Increasing injury severity was associated with a significant risk of reporting injury-related problems at survey completion. Respondents with a longer time since injury were less likely to report any TBI-related problems. These results indicate that self-reported outcomes and adaptation to impairment-related limitations improve as the time since injury increases. These findings highlight the importance of providing coordinated medical rehabilitation and community-based support services to promote positive outcomes over the life span after TBI.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brain Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Brain Injuries / psychology
  • Brain Injuries / rehabilitation*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Comorbidity
  • Disability Evaluation*
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Health Surveys / methods*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Minnesota / epidemiology
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / methods*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult