To explore late functional changes after a traumatic brain injury and their relation to patients' characteristics and reentry support.Design:
Prospective follow-up of an inception cohort of adults with severe traumatic brain injury recruited in 2005-2007 in the Parisian area, France. One and 4-year assessments were performed by trained neuropsychologists. One-to-4-year change in the Glasgow Outcome Scale—Extended defined 3 groups: “improvement,” “stability,” and “worsening.” Relationships between these groups and patients' characteristics were analyzed.Results:
Among 504 recruited patients and 245 four-year survivors, 93 participated in both evaluations. Overall Glasgow Outcome Scale—Extended improved by 0.4. Forty percent of the sample improved, 44% were stable, and 16% worsened. Being in a more unfavorable group was related to preinjury alcohol abuse and to higher anxiety and depression at 4 years. Attendance to a specialized community reentry unit was related to higher chances of being in the “improvement” group in univariate analyses and after adjustment for age, time to follow command, preinjury alcohol and occupation, and mood disorders (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 4.6 [1.1-20]).Conclusion:
Late functional changes were related to psychosocial variables and to reentry support. The effect of reentry support on late recovery needs to be confirmed by further investigations.