Health-related quality of life during the first year after traumatic brain injury

Melissa L. McCarthy, Ellen J. MacKenzie, Dennis R. Durbin, Mary E. Aitken, Kenneth M. Jaffe, Charles N. Paidas, Beth S. Slomine, Andrea M. Dorsch, James R. Christensen, Ru Ding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


Objectives: To document health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of children with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and to examine the relationship between TBI severity and HRQOL during the first year after injury. Design: Prospective cohort study. Setting: Four pediatric level I trauma centers. Patients: Children with TBI (n=330). Main Exposure: Traumatic brain injury. Main Outcome Measures: A primary caregiver completed telephone interviews at baseline, 3 months, and 12 months to measure the child's HRQOL using the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory. The HRQOL outcomes were modeled as a function of injury, patient characteristics, and family characteristics using longitudinal, multivariable regression. Results: A considerable proportion of children had impaired HRQOL at 3 months (42% of children) and 12 months (40% of children) after injury. Multiple dimensions of HRQOL were negatively affected among children with moderate or severe TBI (decrease of 3.7 to 17.6) (P<.05) and did not improve significantly over time. Concomitant lower extremity fractures and spinal injuries resulted in large declines in overall HRQOL, particularly at 3 months after injury (decrease of 12.9 and 8.1, respectively) (P<.05). The HRQOL scores were also reduced by preexisting psychosocial conditions (decrease of 2.9 to 12.3), impaired family functioning (decrease of 5.1 to 6.8), having Medicaid coverage or being uninsured (decrease of 3.1 to 5.5), and single-parent households (decrease of 3.2 to 3.4) (P<.05). Conclusions: Moderate or severe TBI resulted in measurable declines in children's HRQOL after injury. Injury-related factors impacted HRQOL more compared with patient and family characteristics during the first year after injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)252-260
Number of pages9
JournalArchives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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