Severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) is associated with poor outcomes; however, little is known about whether these outcomes are improving over time. This study examined temporal trends in functional outcomes of severe TBI at six months post-injury. We conducted a retrospective cohort study (January 1, 2006 to December 31, 2015) of hospitalized adult (≥16 years) patients with severe TBI using data from the population-based Victorian State Trauma Registry. The primary outcome was the Glasgow Outcome Scale-Extended (GOS-E) at six months post-injury, dichotomized as upper severe disability or worse (GOS-E ≤4, termed "unfavorable outcome") and lower moderate disability or better (GOS-E ≥5; termed "favorable outcome"). Multivariable logistic regression was used to investigate temporal trends in functional outcomes at six months post-injury. Of the 1966 patients with severe TBI who were followed up at six months post-injury (median age, 42 years (interquartile range [IQR]: 25-68); male, 73%), a majority of patients had an unfavorable outcome (GOS-E ≤4; n = 1372, 70%). After adjusting for confounders, there was no change in functional outcomes over time (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 1.02, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.98,1.06; p = 0.35). Similarly, there was no change in the adjusted odds of death (GOS-E = 1) at six months post-injury (AOR = 1.04, 95% CI: 1.00,1.08; p = 0.08). Using a population-wide, high quality, comprehensive registry, we demonstrated no change in death or functional outcomes after severe TBI between 2006 and 2015 in a mature trauma system. There is a clear need to identify targeted improvements in the treatment of these patients with the aim of reducing in-hospital death and improving long-term outcomes.
- head injury
- trends over time