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Caregiver reports of subsequent injuries among veterans with traumatic brain injury after discharge from inpatient polytrauma rehabilitation programs.

Carlson KF, Meis LA, Jensen AC, Simon AB, Gravely AA, Taylor BC, Bangerter A, Schaaf KW, Griffin JM. Caregiver reports of subsequent injuries among veterans with traumatic brain injury after discharge from inpatient polytrauma rehabilitation programs. The Journal of head trauma rehabilitation. 2012 Jan 1; 27(1):14-25.

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Abstract:

OBJECTIVE: : We examined prevalence of, and potential risk factors for, nonfatal injuries among Veterans with traumatic brain injury (TBI) postdischarge from Veterans Affairs inpatient polytrauma rehabilitation programs. METHODS: : We surveyed caregivers of patients who had military service anytime from 2001 to 2009, sustained polytrauma including TBI, received Veterans Affairs inpatient care from 2001 to 2009, were discharged at least 3 months before the study, and were alive when the study was fielded about caregiver and patient health, including patients' medically treated "accidents/new injuries" since discharge. We examined prevalence and source(s) of subsequent injuries and estimated patients' injury risk in reference to hypothesized risk factors. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were calculated using multivariate logistic regression. RESULTS: : Caregivers reported that nearly one-third (32%) of patients incurred medically treated injuries after discharge; most were associated with falls (49%) and motor vehicles (37%). Odds of subsequent injury were associated with select demographics, initial injury characteristics, and postdischarge health and functioning. Characteristics of caregivers, including physical and mental health, were also associated with patients' odds of subsequent injury. CONCLUSIONS: : A significant number of caregivers reported subsequent nonfatal injuries among patients treated for TBI/polytrauma in inpatient rehabilitation settings. Enhanced injury prevention efforts may be beneficial for this population.





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