Primary objective: To determine the pathways of care within the first year after traumatic brain injury (TBI) and to explore whether provided care is related to residual impairments. Research design: Retrospective study of 343 patients with moderate and severe TBI admitted to a Level-1 trauma centre.
Methods and procedures: Discharge destinations from hospital to home and frequency of outpatient visits were determined. Outcome was defined 1 year after injury by the Extended Glasgow Outcome Scale and Return to Work.
Results: Most (94%) patients had returned home 1-year after injury despite cognitive (76%), behavioural (67%) and physical (55%) impairments. One in four patients was severely disabled and 32% had resumed work on a previous level. Two-thirds of all patients went home as secondary discharge destination and 50% needed inpatient rehabilitation. Almost half of patients needed outpatient care, mostly for behavioural and cognitive impairments. One in 10 patients consulted a psychiatrist, with 55% unfavourable outcome. Of those patients initially discharged to home without follow-up, eventually 10% needed outpatient rehabilitation.
Conclusions: One-year after injury most patients had returned home with residual impairments and frequent medical consultations. This finding warrants further investigation to define appropriate aftercare by various medical specialists aimed at long-term community integration.
- Discharge destinations
- outpatient visit
- post-acute care
- return to work
- traumatic brain injury
- INPATIENT REHABILITATION