College of Psychology: Faculty Articles

Title

Traumatic Brain Injury Outcome in Older Adults: A Critical Review of the Literature

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

7-2001

Keywords

Brain Injury, Older Adults, Outcome, TBI, Subdural Hematoma

Publication Title

Journal of Clinical Geropsychology

ISSN

1079-9362

Volume

7

Issue/No.

3

Abstract

This paper is a critical overview of the literature on older adults' outcome after traumatic brain injury (TBI). Eighteen outcome studies were reviewed. Results indicated that older patients demonstrated an increased risk for negative outcome following TBI when compared to younger patients with similar injury severity. Poorer outcome was characterized by higher mortality rates, decreased likelihood of returning to preinjury living arrangement, and declines in cognitive and affective functioning. In the studies reviewed, discharge destination, global outcome scales, and standardized neuropsychological tests were the primary measures of outcome from elderly TBI. Conceptual and methodological difficulties including variability in the definition of and inadequate measures of recovery from elderly TBI, inadequate control groups, and poor follow-up were discussed. Recommendations for future outcome research to increase uniformity in defining recovery in order to enhance comparability between studies and to tailor cognitive rehabilitation to the special needs of the older TBI patient were provided.

DOI

10.1023/A:1011335027445