Life Satisfaction After Traumatic Brain Injury and the World Health Organization Model of Disability

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To determine which components of the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) are most predictive of global life satisfaction after traumatic brain injury (TBI).


Prospective evaluation of 180 individuals enrolled in a TBI model system project site.


Multiple regression analysis indicated that the combination of ICF components (body function and structure, activities, and participation) and demographic factors significantly predicted life satisfaction and accounted for 17% of the variance. Participation was the strongest predictor; activities were a significant, but weaker predictor; and body function and structure did not add to the prediction of life satisfaction. Of all the individual variables evaluated, only social integration and productivity were found to be significant, unique predictors.


When considering the effects of various aspects of disabling conditions on the life satisfaction of individuals who have suffered a TBI, restriction of participation in life activities was found to have the greatest impact. Although the model accounted for a significant percentage in the variation of life satisfaction, a large proportion of the predictive picture (>82%) remains unclear. Doubtless, other variables impinge on life satisfaction that would further clarify the complex relationship between disabling conditions and life satisfaction in TBI.

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