Time to follow commands remains the most useful injury severity variable for predicting WeeFIM® scores 1 year after paediatric TBI

Cynthia A. Austin, Beth S. Slomine, Ellen J. Dematt, Cynthia F. Salorio, Stacy J. Suskauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective: To investigate the relationship between injury severity variables, particularly time to follow commands (TFC) and long-term functional outcomes in paediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI). Methods and procedure: Participants included 40 children with moderate-to-severe TBI discharged from inpatient rehabilitation. Measures of severity were initial Glasgow Coma Scale score, TFC, duration of Post Traumatic Amnesia (PTA) and total duration of impaired consciousness (TFC+PTA). Functional outcome was measured by age-corrected Functional Independence Measure for Children (WeeFIM®) scores at 1-year after discharge. Results: Correlations indicated that injury severity variables (TFC, PTA and TFC+PTA) were all associated with functional outcome. Regression analyses revealed that TFC and TFC+PTA similarly accounted for 49% or 47% of the variance, respectively, in total WeeFIM® score. Thirty-seven of 40 children had good outcome; of the three children with TFC >26 days, two had poor outcome. Conclusion: PTA and TFC+PTA do not provide a benefit over TFC alone for prediction of long-term outcome and TFC is identified earlier in the recovery course. TFC remains an important predictor of functional outcome 1-year after discharge from inpatient rehabilitation after paediatric TBI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1056-1062
Number of pages7
JournalBrain Injury
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jul 22 2013



  • Child
  • Coma
  • Outcome
  • PTA
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Neurology

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