A longitudinal examination of positive changes in quality-of-life after traumatic brain injury

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Purpose: Most studies of quality-of-life (QoL) after traumatic brain injury (TBI) reveal a largely negative picture, yet some survivors show positive changes (PC). Understanding PC in QoL may assist clinicians in facilitating post-injury adjustment. This study aimed to prospectively explore changes in QoL from pre-to post-injury, identify those with PC and examine predictive and associated factors. Methods: Ninety-five participants, recruited from consecutive admissions to a rehabilitation hospital, were prospectively assessed at least once over the first 4 years post-injury. Measures of QoL, psychiatric disorders, coping style and psychosocial outcome were administered at each assessment. Results: Participants mean QoL was in the average range pre-injury and at follow-up. A third demonstrated PC post-injury, which tended to remain stable. PC participants tended to rate their relatives as of greater importance than other participants, but did not rate their health as high. Group membership was not predicted by pre-injury demographic or injury factors, but it was significantly associated with psychosocial and functional outcome. Conclusions: Even after a significant brain injury, some individuals show sustained improved QoL. Factors such as lack of good old days bias and increased value placed on family may have important clinical utility
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283 - 290
Number of pages8
JournalBrain Injury
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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