Predictors of Satisfaction With Life in Veterans After Traumatic Brain Injury: A VA TBI Model Systems Study

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Abstract

Objective:

To identify predictors of satisfaction with life in Veterans 1 year after traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Setting:

The VA TBI Model Systems (TBIMS) project includes 5 Veterans Affairs (VA) Polytrauma Rehabilitation Centers.

Participants:

Veterans enrolled in the VA TBIMS study who completed the Satisfaction With Life Scale at year 1 follow-up. The sample is largely male (96%) and Caucasian (72%), with a median age of 27 years upon enrollment.

Design:

Prospective observational cohort study measuring including demographics (eg, education), preinjury variables (eg, mental health history and employment), and military variables (eg, injury during deployment and injury during active duty status).

Main Outcome Measure:

Satisfaction With Life Scale.

Results:

Multivariate regression analyses revealed that age, marital status, preinjury employment status, preinjury mental health history, and active duty status at the time of injury were significant predictors of life satisfaction at year 1 follow-up.

Conclusions:

Results of this study suggest that satisfaction with life in Veterans with TBI is mediated by several factors that might inform rehabilitation interventions and discharge recommendations. Preinjury variables and active duty status (a unique aspect of the Veteran population) influence life satisfaction at 1 year postinjury. Limitations and future clinical implications will be discussed.

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