Occupational and Physical Therapy Activities and Level of Effort in Patients With Traumatic Brain Injury: Association With Functional Outcomes Academic Article uri icon

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  • BACKGROUND: Although some attention has been given to the association of functional outcomes with rehabilitation intensity, the evidence is still sparse in this field. OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effect of inpatient rehabilitation (IR) on discharge cognitive and motor function and the association of time spent in occupational and physical therapy and level of effort with cognitive and motor function in patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI). DESIGN: Secondary analysis of TBI-Practice Based Evidence dataset. SETTINGS: Inpatient rehabilitation. PARTICIPANTS: One hundred forty-nine patients with TBI who were consecutively admitted for IR between 2008 and 2011 in Ontario, Canada. INTERVENTIONS: Not applicable. MAIN OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS: Admission and discharge Functional Independence Measure-Rasch Cognitive and Motor Scores. RESULTS: Patients showed significant improvement in cognitive and motor function from admission to discharge (P < .0001). After controlling for confounding factors, discharge FIM-Rasch cognitive and motor scores were not associated with either level of effort or time spent in physical therapy activities. Discharge motor, but not cognitive function, was associated with more time spent in the complex (β = 0.20, confidence interval [CI] 0.005, 0.05) and less time spent in simple OT activities (β = -0.13, CI -0.13, -0.01). CONCLUSION: This study provides valuable information for clinicians about the effectiveness of IR on the improvement of motor and cognitive outcomes and the importance of considering the amount of time spent in activities based on their level of complexity rather than the total time of therapy to improve motor outcomes in this population. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: III.


  • Zarshenas, Sareh
  • Colantonio, Angela
  • Horn, Susan D
  • Jaglal, Susan
  • Jacob, Binu
  • Cullen, Nora

publication date

  • April 2020