Supervision Needs Following Veteran and Service Member Moderate to Severe Traumatic Brain Injury: A VA TBI Model Systems Study

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Abstract

Objective:

To characterize supervision levels across residential settings at 1 year post-TBI and explore predictors of supervision in a Veteran and Service-member population.

Setting:

Five VA Polytrauma Rehabilitation Centers.

Participants:

A total of 302 individuals enrolled in the VA TBI Model Systems (TBIMS) research program.

Design:

Prospective, longitudinal, multisite.

Main Measures:

Primary residence and supervision levels measured via scores on the Supervision Rating Scale. For predictive modeling, scores were dichotomized into 2 groups: those that were fully independent/living alone or required only some supervision during the day (independent group, n = 195) and those that required overnight supervision, full-time indirect supervision, and full-time direct supervision (dependent group, n = 107).

Results:

Thirty-five percent were receiving supervision at 1 year post-TBI across residential settings and 28% were living in alternative settings. Multivariate modeling indicated that older age and longer posttraumatic amnesia (PTA) were predictive of having a need for supervision at 1 year postinjury.

Conclusions:

Supervision needs are long-term features of moderate and severe TBI. Results of this study lend support to the shift toward conceptualizing TBI as a chronic disease.

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