Objective: To examine differences in the functional recovery trajectories between younger and older adults with mild-moderate traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the first year postinjury as well as health-related quality of life.
Design: Observational cohort.
Setting: Level one trauma centre in the State of Washington.
Participants: Adults with mild-moderate TBI (N = 34; younger adults, n = 19, and older adults, n = 15).
Main outcome measures: Functional Status Examination (FSE) and health-related quality of life (HRQOL; SF-12v2).
Results: Older adults consistently showed significantly worse functional performance than younger adults following TBI in the following FSE domains: mobility, ability to travel, home maintenance and overall functional status. For both groups, preinjury physical health was significantly correlated with ability to travel and social integration at 12-month postinjury. Older participants' preinjury physical and mental health had significant and negative correlation with their functional status.
Conclusions: Our study provides insights and implications into adults' specific functional impairments following TBI, and which domains have persistent deficits.
Implications for practice: Early intervention and rehabilitation should focus on improving older adults' physical functioning and mobility. Our study may also inform future research and design of post-TBI interventions for older adults.
Keywords: aged; functional status; head injury; health-related quality of life; recovery.
© 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.