Cardiovascular fitness is unrelated to mobility limitations in ambulant people with traumatic brain injury

J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2013 Nov-Dec;28(6):E1-7. doi: 10.1097/HTR.0b013e318279536d.


Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between mobility, activity levels, and cardiovascular fitness in patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) currently undergoing rehabilitation, and to determine whether mobility and cardiovascular fitness differs between people with TBI and matched healthy controls (HCs).

Design: Cross-sectional cohort study.

Participants: Twenty-eight people with TBI and 28 matched HCs.

Outcome measures: The primary outcome measure for mobility was the high-level mobility assessment tool. Steps per day was the outcome measure for activity level, and the physical work capacity at 130 (PWC130) submaximal VO2 Monark bike test was the primary outcome measure for cardiovascular fitness.

Results: Results revealed no relationship (P > .05) between mobility, activity levels, and cardiovascular fitness in the TBI cohort. Participants with TBI had significantly reduced capacity for mobility (P < .001) and performed less physical activity (P = .002) than matched HCs; however, there was no significant difference in cardiovascular fitness (P = .094) between groups.

Conclusions: Despite reduced physical activity and a wide range in capacity to mobilize, no relationship was identified between mobility and cardiovascular fitness following TBI.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Brain Injuries / physiopathology*
  • Brain Injuries / rehabilitation*
  • Cardiovascular Physiological Phenomena*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Disabled Persons / rehabilitation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Locomotion*
  • Male
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Physical Fitness*
  • Walking