Trajectories of Life Satisfaction During the First 10 Years Following Traumatic Brain Injury



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To examine the predictive relationships of functional ability, gender, and age on the longitudinal trajectories of life satisfaction across 10 years following onset of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Participants were part of the Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems (TBIMS) longitudinal study of outcomes following TBI. Hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) was employed to assess changes in life satisfaction across 10 years post-injury as a function of functional ability, gender and age. The sample included 7,813 participants (2,170 women, 5,643 men) who were included in the TBIMS database. Satisfaction with life across 10 years post-injury was measured by the Satisfaction with Life Scale administered at 1, 2, 5, and 10 years post-injury. The Functional Independence Measure (FIM?) was administered to measure functional ability at 1, 2, 5, and 10 years post-injury. Additional predictor variables included gender and age. Participants? life satisfaction scores remained stable across 10 years post-injury. Greater functional ability as measured by the FIM? Total scale, FIM? Cognitive subscale, and FIM? Motor subscale was associated with greater life satisfaction across time. A significant interaction effect between age and functional ability was present. Gender was not a significant predictor of life satisfaction. Life satisfaction across 10 years post-injury is relatively stable. Greater functional ability was associated with greater life satisfaction. Older participants with greater functional impairments had higher life satisfaction scores across 10 years post-injury compared to their younger counterparts.