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Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2001 Mar;82(3):367-74.

Assessing traumatic brain injury outcome measures for long-term follow-up of community-based individuals.

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Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, San Jose, CA, USA.



To determine which outcome measures are best and least suited for assessing long-term functional outcome of individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the community.


Survey of participants in the community an average of 5 years after TBI. A battery of outcome measures was given.


Community in northern California after inpatient rehabilitation.


Forty-eight adult individuals with prior moderate to severe TBI. All subjects had received inpatient rehabilitation 2 to 9 years previously and could be reached for telephone interview.


The Community Integration Questionnaire, Neurobehavioral Functioning Inventory (NFI), Patient Competency Rating Scale (PCRS), Level of Cognitive Functioning Scale (LCFS), FIM instrument, Functional Assessment Measure (FIM+FAM), Supervision Rating Scale (SRS), Disability Rating Scale (DRS), Revised Craig Handicap Assessment and Reporting Technique (R-CHART), and Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS). The number of maximal scores on each of the surveys was studied to determine which instruments continued to reveal deficits years after TBI.


Most individuals obtained maximum scores, ie, functional independence, on these scales: LCFS, FIM motor subscale and total score, R-CHART physical independence subscale, FIM+FAM, GOS, and the SRS. Measures with the fewest maximum scores (<36%, measuring deficits still extant in the group) were the R-CHART cognition subscale and the NFI memory/attention and communication subscales, and employment subscales. Items, subscales, and total scores that showed good variability and correlated most highly and frequently with other scales also demonstrating good variability were the PCRS, the DRS and FIM+FAM employment items, the R-CHART cognition subscale, and the NFI motor, memory/attention, communication, and depression subscales (the R-CHART cognition subscale and NFI memory/attention subscale were highly correlated with the PCRS;.84,.83).


Measures that appeared to contribute little to assessing functional status of a TBI sample years postinjury were the FIM, FIM+FAM, SRS, GOS, and LCFS. Measures that showed a range of deficits across participants were DRS employability, the NFI, PCRS, and the R-CHART cognition subscale.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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