Traumatic brain injury: efficacy of multidisciplinary rehabilitation.

Jo Semlyen, Sharon Summers, Michael Barnes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To establish efficacy of a coordinated multidisciplinary rehabilitation service for severe head injury, provided at Hunters Moor Regional Rehabilitation Centre.

Design: A quasi-experimental design to compare treatment effects between two groups. The first group received a coordinated, multidisciplinary regional rehabilitation service; the other, a single discipline approach provided by local, district hospitals. Follow-up was for 2 years postinjury.

Patients or Other Participants: Fifty-six consecutive severe head injury admissions, with an identified main caregiver, referred for rehabilitation within 4 weeks of their injury.

Main Outcome Measures: The Barthel index, the Functional Independence Measure (FIM), and the Newcastle Independence Assessment Form (NIAF), a newly developed, real-life, comprehensive measure. In addition, caregivers completed the General Health Questionnaire.

Results: The group that received coordinated multidisciplinary rehabilitation not only demonstrated significant gains throughout the study period but also maintained treatment effect after input ended. Furthermore, caregivers of this group had significantly reduced levels of distress. The comparison group, despite initial lower injury severity and shorter hospital stay, did not demonstrate equivalent gains or any posttreatment effect.

Conclusions: The results show the efficacy of a comprehensive, specialist multidisciplinary regional service. There are significant implications for service provision for people with severe traumatic head injury.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)678-683
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Publication statusPublished - 1998


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