Poster presentation Early career development| Volume 90, ISSUE 10, e20, October 2009

Poster 28: Gender Differences in Functional Outcome After Sustaining a Traumatic Brain Injury in an Older Adult Population

      Objective: To retrospectively examine gender differences in functional outcome in an older adult population. Functional outcome after traumatic brain injury (TBI) was operationalized as return to previous meaningful activity (work/school/housework/volunteering). Involvement in previous meaningful activity was defined as proportion of time (full-time, part-time or none) spent as employee, student, homemaker or volunteer, or as a combination of these activities. Previous analyses in a younger population (Hirshson et al, 2008) stratified by gender revealed significant changes from pre-injury to post-injury for men but not for women. The purpose of this study is to investigate return to meaningful activity in an older adult population. It is expected that given the developmentally diverse population, a different distribution of activities may be present. Data Sources: Participants enrolled in research on psychosocial outcomes at the Research Training Center for Community Integration of Individuals with TBI. Study Selection: Outpatients with TBI (N=162), 51 years of age and older (M=61.67, SD=9.44), 50% female). Retrospective correlational study. Data Extraction: Involvement in meaningful activity defined as proportion of time (full-time, part-time, none) spent as employee, student, homemaker, volunteer, or a combination of these activities. Data Synthesis: Chi-Square analyses revealed significant changes in IMA pre-injury to post-injury by gender. Specifically, when comparing the number of activities (solitary or multiple activities) pre and post-injury, there was a significant difference for women in the number of activities they participated in but not for men. When the sample was split by severity of injury (mild, moderate or severe) there were no gender differences in pre and post-injury activities. Conclusions: Understanding gender differences in IMA within this population can provide important information for more focused and successful rehabilitation.The nature and hierarchy of meaningful activities may be different in an older population. Key Words: Aging; Rehabilitation; Traumatic brain Injury.
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