Patterns of community integration 2–5 years post-discharge from brain injury rehabilitation Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Outcome after traumatic brain injury (TBI) is characterized by a high degree of variability which has often been difficult to capture in traditional outcome studies. The purpose of this study was to describe patterns of community integration 2-5 years after TBI. Participants were 208 patients admitted to a Brain Injury Rehabilitation Unit between 1991-1995 in Brisbane, Australia. The design comprised retrospective data collection and questionnaire follow-up by mail. Mean follow-up was 3.5 years. Demographic, injury severity and functional status variables were retrieved from hospital records. Community integration was assessed using the Community Integration Questionnaire (CIQ), and vocational status measured by a self administered questionnaire. Data was analysed using cluster analysis which divided the data into meaningful subsets. Based on the CIQ subscale scores of home, social and productive integration, a three cluster solution was selected, with groups labelled as working (n = 78), balanced (n = 46) and poorly integrated (n = 84). Although 38% of the sample returned to a high level of productive activity and 22% achieved a balanced lifestyle, overall community integration was poor for the remainder. This poorly integrated group had more severe injury characterized by longer periods of acute care and post-traumatic amnesia (PTA) and greater functional disability on discharge. These findings have implications for service delivery prior to and during the process of reintegration after brain injury.

publication date

  • September 1, 2001