This study examined long-term outcome in traumatically brain-injured individuals following discharge from a comprehensive rehabilitation programme. Of 254 traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients reviewed at 2 years, 103 have been followed up at 5 years using a structured interview format detailing neurological symptoms, mobility, independence in ADL, productivity status, relationship issues, communication and the presence of cognitive, behavioural and emotional changes. Visual difficulties, headache and fatigue were persistent in a significant number of patients. Between 2 and 5 years there was increased independence in personal, domestic and community ADL and the use of transport. Ten more patients had returned to driving. On the other hand there was a slightly higher incidence of cognitive, behavioural and emotional changes reported at 5 years. Thirty-two per cent of those working at 2 years were not employed at 5 years. Many students had also become unemployed. These findings suggest the need for intermittent lifelong intervention following TBI. Systems of rehabilitation need to be adapted to provide this.