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NeuroRehabilitation. 2013;32(2):233-52. doi: 10.3233/NRE-130841.

Inpatient rehabilitation for traumatic brain injury: the influence of age on treatments and outcomes.

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Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, New York, NY 10029, USA.



Elderly persons with traumatic brain injury (TBI) are increasingly admitted to inpatient rehabilitation, but we have limited knowledge of their characteristics, the treatments they receive, and their short-term and medium-term outcomes. This study explored these issues by means of comparisons between age groups.


Data on 1419 patients admitted to 9 inpatient rehabilitation facilities for initial rehabilitation after TBI were collected by means of (1) abstraction from medical records; (2) point-of care forms completed by therapists after each treatment session; and (3) interviews at 3 months and 9 months after discharge, conducted with the patient or a proxy.


Elderly persons (65 or older) had a lower brain injury severity, and a shorter length of stay (LOS) in acute care. During rehabilitation, they received fewer hours of therapy, due to a shorter LOS and fewer hours of treatment per day, especially from psychology and therapeutic recreation. They regained less functional ability during and after inpatient rehabilitation, and had a very high mortality rate.


Elderly people can be rehabilitated successfully, and discharged back to the community. The treatment therapists deliver, and issues surrounding high mortality need further research.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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