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Perceived Needs Following Traumatic Brain Injury

Corrigan, John D. PhD; Whiteneck, Gale PhD; Mellick, Dave MA

Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation: May/June 2004 - Volume 19 - Issue 3 - p 205–216
Articles

Objectives: (1) Provide population-based estimates of perceived needs following traumatic brain injury (TBI) and the prevalence of unmet needs 1 year postinjury; (2) identify relations among needs that define unique clusters of individuals; and (3) identify risk factors for experiencing selected needs.

Design: Telephone survey 1 year after injury of a prospective cohort of all people hospitalized with TBI in the state of Colorado during 2000.

Measures: Self-reported need for assistance in 13 areas of functioning.

Results: A total of 58.8% of persons hospitalized with TBI experienced at least 1 need during the year following injury; 40.2% will experience at least 1 unmet need 1 year after injury. Most frequently experienced needs were “improving your memory, solving problems better” (34.1%), “managing stress, emotional upsets” (27.9%), and “managing your money, paying bills” (23.3%). Cluster analysis revealed 8 distinctive groupings of subjects. If a need existed, those least likely to be met involved cognitive abilities, employment, and alcohol and/or drug use.

Conclusions: Results were consistent with findings from previous assessments of need for services based on surveys of convenience samples; however, the prevalence of unmet needs 1 year after injury may be higher than previously suspected. More post-hospital services addressing cognitive and emotional problems appear needed. Risk factors for experiencing needs suggest potential avenues for clinical intervention.

From the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio (Corrigan)

The Research Department, Craig Hospital, Englewood, Colo. (Whiteneck, Mellick)

This research was supported in part by the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (#IC09900 and #U17/CCU812447). The contents of this manuscript are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Reprints: John D. Corrigan, PhD, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Ohio State University, Dodd Hall, 480 W 9th Ave, Columbus, OH 43210.

Corresponding author: John D. Corrigan, PhD, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Ohio State University, Dodd Hall, 480 W 9th Ave, Columbus, OH 43210 (e-mail: corrigan.1@osu.edu).

© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.