Rationale: Older adults (≥65 yr old) account for an increasing proportion of patients with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI), yet clinical trials and outcome studies contain relatively few of these patients.Objectives: To determine functional status 6 months after severe TBI in older adults, changes in this status over 2 years, and outcome covariates.Methods: This was a registry-based cohort study of older adults who were admitted to hospitals in Victoria, Australia, between 2007 and 2016 with severe TBI. Functional status was assessed with Glasgow Outcome Scale Extended (GOSE) 6, 12, and 24 months after injury. Cohort subgroups were defined by admission to an ICU. Features associated with functional outcome were assessed from the ICU subgroup.Measurements and Main Results: The study included 540 older adults who had been hospitalized with severe TBI over the 10-year period; 428 (79%) patients died in hospital, and 456 (84%) died 6 months after injury. There were 277 patients who had not been admitted to an ICU; at 6 months, 268 (97%) had died, 8 (3%) were dependent (GOSE 2-4), and 1 (0.4%) was functionally independent (GOSE 5-8). There were 263 patients who had been admitted to an ICU; at 6 months, 188 (73%) had died, 39 (15%) were dependent, and 32 (12%) were functionally independent. These proportions did not change over longer follow-up. The only clinical features associated with a lower rate of functional independence were Injury Severity Score ≥25 (adjusted odds ratio, 0.24 [95% confidence interval, 0.09-0.67]; P = 0.007) and older age groups (P = 0.017).Conclusions: Severe TBI in older adults is a condition with very high mortality, and few recover to functional independence.
Keywords: brain trauma; critical care outcomes; elderly; functional performance.