Impact of minority status on functional outcome and community integration following traumatic brain injury

Mitchell Rosenthal, Marcel Dijkers, Cynthia Harrison-Felix, Nina Nabors, Adrienne D. Witol, Mary Ellen Young, Jeffrey S. Englander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine whether minority status affected short term and 1-year functional outcome and community integration for patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the TBI Model Systems National Data Base. Design: Prospective study, consecutive sample. Setting: Four tertiary care rehabilitation centers. Patients: Five hundred and eighty-six patients with TBI admitted to one of four TBI Model Systems programs from February 1989 through June 1995. Inclusion criteria for the study included evidence of a TBI, admission to the system hospital emergency department within 8 hours of Injury, 19 years of age or older, and acute care and inpatient rehabilitation within the system hospitals. Information was collected for demographics such as race, age, gender, education, employment status, marital status, and data related to the injury such as injury severity, etiology of injury, and payer source. Over half of the sample was white (53.4%) with the 46.6% of minorities composed of blacks (37.2%), Hispanics (7.3%), and Asians (2.0%). Main Outcome Measures: Functional outcome was measured with the Functional Independence Measure (FIM), Disability Rating Scale (DRS), and Community Integration Questionnaire (CIQ). The FIM and DRS were measured at inpatient rehabilitation admission, discharge, and 1 year post injury. The CIQ total score and subscale scores for Home Integration, Social Integration, and Productivity were obtained at 1-year post injury. It was hypothesized that minority status would not predict functional outcome after acute rehabilitation but would predict functional outcome and community integration at 1 year post injury. Results: There were no significant differences between whites and minorities for DRS and FIM scores at acute rehabilitation discharge. There were also no significant differences between whites and minorities on FIM scores 1 year post injury, but there were significant differences between whites and minorities on the Social Integration and Productivity subscales and total score of the CIQ, Multiple regression indicated that minority status predicted functional outcome for CIQ total score (r = -.28) and two subscales, Social Integration (r = -.28) and Productivity (r = -.23) even after controlling for etiology, severity of injury, age, gender, and functional status at rehabilitation discharge. Conclusions: Although minority status does not negatively impact recovery of basic mobility and daily living skills, it may impact long-term outcome related to community integration as measured by productivity and social integration. Greater outreach and access to postdischarge services and support may be needed to optimize community integration outcomes. Further studies are needed to determine how best to serve the needs of this segment of the population with TBI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-57
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Community integration
  • Etiology
  • Functional outcome
  • Minority status


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