Category: Brain Injury; Military and Veterans Affairs
Objective : To examine the relationship between telephone-assessed neuropsychological functioning and disability level after traumatic brain injury (TBI). We hypothesized that neuropsychological function would predict disability level after controlling for known predictors of TBI outcome.
Design : Longitudinal cohort study.
Setting : A VA Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center.
Participants (or Animals, Specimens, Cadavers) :
Veterans and Military Personnel discharged from inpatient neurorehabilitation, who were enrolled in the VA TBIMS study, with a 2- or 5-year post-TBI follow up including neuropsychological testing (N=55) which was recently added to follow up data collection. Participants were mostly male (96%), White (87%), mean age = 38 (SD=12). TBI severity was 35% severe, 9% moderate, and 56% mild, and 50% of participants had abnormal neuroimaging. Injury mechanism was largely vehicular-related (39%).
Interventions : Not applicable.
Main Outcome Measure(s) : Disability Rating Scale (DRS).
Results : Multiple regression analysis was used to test if the BTACT significantly predicted participants' disability rating scale scores. After accounting for known predictors of TBI outcome, the multiple regression model including the BTACT explained 54.8% of the variance (∆R2=0.29, F(4,48)=13.35, pβ =-.68, p<.001), but not age, education, or TBI severity.
Conclusions : Telephone-assessed neuropsychological functioning predicted severity of disability above and beyond known predictors of TBI outcome. Results are consistent with prior research examining conventional (in person) neuropsychological measures. Results provide preliminary support for assessing cognitive functioning with psychometrically sound telephone-format neuropsychological tests. However, replication of study results is prudent with additional research to establish the validity of telephone-based neuropsychological assessment.
Erin Brennan– Research Assistant, James A. Haley VA, Tampa, Florida
Emily Noyes– Research Assistant, James A Haley VA Hospital, Tampa, Florida
Amanda Royer– Research Coordinator, James A Haley VA Hospital, Tampa, Florida
Risa Nakase-Richardson– Neuropsychologist, Associate Professor, James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital / University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida
Marc Silva– Neuropsychologist, James A Haley VA Hospital, Tampa, Florida