Executive functions profiles in traumatic brain injury adults: Implications for rehabilitation studies

Brain Inj. 2015;29(9):1071-81. doi: 10.3109/02699052.2015.1015613. Epub 2015 May 7.


Primary objective: This study aimed to identify and characterize profiles of executive functions (EF) following traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Research design: The sample was comprised of 84 adult outpatients with mild and moderate/severe TBI who were assessed by means of a battery of EF tasks. A Hierarchical Cluster analysis was performed with tasks Z-scores. Clusters were compared by means of ANOVA and Chi-square analyses.

Main outcomes and results: Three clusters were characterized by deficits in: (1) inhibition, flexibility and focused attention; (2) inhibition, flexibility, working memory and focused attention; and (3) no expressive executive deficits. Clusters did not differ in clinical or demographical variables.

Conclusions: The first cluster replicated findings of previous studies on TBI EF profiles. IT is suggested that TBI rehabilitation studies of EF must select participants by their EF profile rather than for clinical or demographical variables.

Keywords: Cluster analysis; executive functions; methods; neuropsychological assessment; traumatic brain injury.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brain Injuries / classification*
  • Brain Injuries / physiopathology
  • Brain Injuries / rehabilitation*
  • Brazil
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Cognition Disorders / physiopathology
  • Cognition Disorders / rehabilitation
  • Executive Function / classification*
  • Executive Function / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests