OBJECTIVE. This study examined outcomes after traumatic brain injury in adults salient to occupational therapy.

METHOD. Demographic data and Functional Independence Measure (FIM) scores from the inpatient rehabilitation stay were first gathered from a retrospective chart review. At follow-up, 25 adults, on average 21 months post-injury, completed measures of disability, community participation, quality of life, and satisfaction with occupational therapy during a telephone interview. Analysis of covariance was used to test the differences between pretest and posttest scores on the FIM; regression analysis and correlations were used to analyze predictions and relationships.

RESULTS. Statistically significant improvements in FIM scores during rehabilitation were predictive of the level of long-term disability and community participation among participants. At follow-up, participants were often unemployed, depressed and withdrawn, and experienced limitations in decision making, hand use, bladder control, and community integration. Less disability and more community participation were related to higher quality of life. Satisfaction with occupational therapy, although high, was unrelated to most outcomes.

CONCLUSION. Results support the premise that participation is associated with a high quality of life, yet persons with brain injury have significant needs for long-term occupational therapy.

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