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Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2011 Oct;92(10 Suppl):S52-60. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2010.12.046.

Traumatic brain injury patient-reported outcome measure: identification of health-related quality-of-life issues relevant to individuals with traumatic brain injury.

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Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2800, USA.


This 2-part qualitative study explored health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI). A community-based participatory action research design was used, which emphasizes collaboration between researchers and individuals with disabilities to ensure that results are relevant for individuals with TBI. In study 1, community members (N=20) with TBI served as "experts" during 1-on-1 semistructured interviews, reviewing current HRQOL items and identifying HRQOL issues commonly experienced by individuals with TBI. Each participant identified at least 31 issues, with most generating more than 90 responses, highlighting the multifaceted nature of HRQOL in TBI. Study 2 consisted of 7 patient/consumer groups (33 individuals with TBI), 4 caregiver groups (17 caregivers), and 2 provider groups (15 providers). Qualitative analysis of patient focus groups indicated that 48% of focus group comments were related to emotional issues; 23%, to social functioning; 14%, to physical functioning; 11%, to cognition; and 7%, to personality changes (caregiver and provider focus group analysis indicated identical patterns of findings). In addition, both studies evaluated the applicability in TBI of generic items developed by the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System and the Neurology Quality of Life Measurement initiative. Findings suggest that although there is some overlap between current generic measures of HRQOL and concepts reported by individuals with TBI, these generic measures do not capture the full complexity of HRQOL in TBI. TBI-targeted item banks are needed to ensure sensitive assessment of HRQOL in TBI.

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