Impact of traumatic brain injury on participation in leisure activities

Elizabeth K. Wise, Christine Mathews-Dalton, Sureyya Dikmen, Nancy Temkin, Joan MacHamer, Kathleen Bell, Janet M. Powell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine how participation in leisure activities for people with traumatic brain injury (TBI) changes from before injury to 1 year after injury. Design: Prospective evaluation of leisure participation at 1 year after TBI. Setting: Level I trauma center. Participants: Rehabilitation inpatients (mean age, 35.3 years; 77% male; 77% white) with moderate to severe TBI (N=160). Interventions: Not applicable. Main Outcome Measure: Functional Status Examination. Results: At 1 year after injury, 81% had not returned to preinjury levels of leisure participation. Activities most frequently discontinued included partying, drug and alcohol use, and various sports. The activity most often reported as new after injury was watching television. Of the small fraction who returned to preinjury levels, 70% did so within 4 months of injury. Sixty percent of those who did not return to preinjury levels were moderately to severely bothered by the changes. Conclusions: At 1 year after injury, many TBI survivors engage in a reduced number of leisure activities, which are more sedentary and less social, with a substantial fraction dissatisfied with these changes. While discontinuing some activities may be viewed as a positive change, there are few new ones to replace them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1357-1362
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of physical medicine and rehabilitation
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2010


  • Brain injuries
  • Recreation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Treatment outcome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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