Race/Ethnicity and Retention in Traumatic Brain Injury Outcomes Research: A Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems National Database Study

J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2018 Jul/Aug;33(4):219-227. doi: 10.1097/HTR.0000000000000395.


Objective: To investigate the contribution of race/ethnicity to retention in traumatic brain injury (TBI) research at 1 to 2 years postinjury.

Setting: Community.

Participants: With dates of injury between October 1, 2002, and March 31, 2013, 5548 whites, 1347 blacks, and 790 Hispanics enrolled in the Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems National Database.

Design: Retrospective database analysis.

Main measure: Retention, defined as completion of at least 1 question on the follow-up interview by the person with TBI or a proxy.

Results: Retention rates 1 to 2 years post-TBI were significantly lower for Hispanic (85.2%) than for white (91.8%) or black participants (90.5%) and depended significantly on history of problem drug or alcohol use. Other variables associated with low retention included older age, lower education, violent cause of injury, and discharge to an institution versus private residence.

Conclusions: The findings emphasize the importance of investigating retention rates separately for blacks and Hispanics rather than combining them or grouping either with other races or ethnicities. The results also suggest the need for implementing procedures to increase retention of Hispanics in longitudinal TBI research.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Black or African American / psychology
  • Black or African American / statistics & numerical data*
  • Brain Injuries, Traumatic / diagnosis
  • Brain Injuries, Traumatic / ethnology*
  • Brain Injuries, Traumatic / rehabilitation
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cultural Competency
  • Databases, Factual
  • Disability Evaluation*
  • Ethnicity
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino / psychology
  • Hispanic or Latino / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Injury Severity Score
  • Male
  • Memory Disorders / ethnology*
  • Memory Disorders / etiology
  • Memory Disorders / physiopathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Racial Groups
  • Retention, Psychology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sex Factors
  • Time Factors
  • United States
  • White People / psychology
  • White People / statistics & numerical data*