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Quality of life and psychological health after mild traumatic brain injury in older people: Three- and six-month follow up.

Brain Injury 2023 July 21
OBJECTIVES: Examine quality of life (QoL) and psychological health after mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) in older people (65+ years) at 3- and 6-month follow-up and explore which injury factors predicted QoL.

METHODS: mTBI patients were compared to trauma comparison (TC) and community comparison (CC) groups. QoL and psychological health were measured at both timepoints. After accounting for 3-month psychological health, injury severity, neuroimaging, and 3-month neuropsychological performance were assessed as predictors of 6-month QoL.

RESULTS: Overall 3-month QoL was lower for mTBI (Cohen's d = 0.938) and TC (Cohen's d = 0.485) groups compared to CCs, but by 6 months only mTBI patients continued to report poorer overall QoL (Cohen's d = 0.577) and physical QoL (Cohen's d = 0.656). Despite group differences, QoL for most (~92%) was within normative limits. 3-month psychological health predicted QoL 6-months postinjury (β = -.377, 95% CI -.614, -.140) but other proposed risk factors (GCS <15, neuroimaging, 3-month neuropsychological performance) did not uniquely predict QoL.

CONCLUSIONS: Older adults following mTBI reported lower QoL up to 6-months postinjury compared to non-injured peers, indicating that mTBI patients were particularly susceptible to ongoing differences in QoL 6-months postinjury.

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