Outcome instruments in moderate-to-severe adult traumatic brain injury: recommendations for use in psychosocial research Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND:Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can reduce psychosocial functioning, causing relationship, family, and employment difficulties. The present study by Moving Ahead: Centre for Research Excellence (CRE) in Brain Recovery aimed to identify a set of adult outcome instruments for moderate-to-severe TBI psychosocial research. PROCEDURE:A review of 115 instruments (identified through nomination, literature search, and international expert opinion) was conducted over a 15-month period. Eleven psychosocial areas were examined: Global Outcome, Communication, Social Cognition, Behavioural and Executive Function, Other Neuropsychological Functioning, Psychological Status, TBI-related Symptoms, Activities and Participation, Support and Relationships, Sense of Self, and Health-related Quality of Life. Individual instruments were considered against selection guidelines, and specific measures that best met the guidelines were identified as core (common across all studies), supplemental (dependent on study type) or emerging. RESULTS:The final recommendations, organised in accordance with the World Health Organisation's International Classification of Functioning taxonomy, comprised 56 instruments for use in early recovery, outcome, and intervention studies. CONCLUSION:These recommendations provide a coherent framework along with identified outcome instruments to guide psychosocial research in moderate-to-severe TBI. Adherence to the recommendations will enable data-pooling and comparison across studies and research settings facilitating consistent measurement across the lifespan.


  • Honan, Cynthia A
  • McDonald, Skye
  • Tate, Robyn
  • Ownsworth, Tamara
  • Togher, Leanne
  • Fleming, Jennifer
  • Anderson, Vicki
  • Morgan, Angela
  • Catroppa, Cathy
  • Douglas, Jacinta
  • Francis, Heather
  • Wearne, Travis
  • Sigmundsdottir, Linda
  • Ponsford, Jennie

publication date

  • 2017