Extending our Knowledge of Long-Term Outcomes After Severe TBI: Three DOC TBI Model System Studies


Systematic study of neurobehavioral recovery associated with disorders of consciousness (DOC) has primarily included small convenience samples. Recent large-scale multi-center rehabilitation trials have reported optimistic outcomes including improved survival rates and functional outcomes in recovery from DOC through the first five years in contrast to the existing literature. Increasingly, TBI is being studied as a chronic condition with implications for long-term health care needs and access. Previous research has shown that persons with prolonged DOC have different medical and rehabilitation needs compared to those with moderate and severe TBI without DOC.

Therefore, the purpose of this symposium is to present novel findings at chronic stages of TBI from the largest rehabilitation database following injury. The first study will describe global, health, and socioeconomic outcomes at ten-years post-TBI. This will be the first study of outcome at ten-years post injury reported in the literature for persons with DOC. The second study will examine trajectory of independence with activities of daily living through the first ten years-post TBI. Findings extend the current work by examining change in functional abilities between five and ten years post-injury. To date, the TBIMS DOC studies have not examined predictors of acute or chronic changes. The final presentation will present predictors of rehabilitation outcome in the TBIMS sample. Following the presentations, a discussant will comment on the presentations with emphasis on the impact in working with survivors and families.


  • Describe health, global, and socioeconomic outcomes at 10-years post-TBI and DOC.
  • Identify the trajectory of motor and cognitive activities of daily living for those with severe TBI and DOC.
  • Identify predictors of outcome for those admitted to rehabilitation with DOC.
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