Depression and life satisfaction in patients with traumatic brain injury: a longitudinal study.

Objective: To assess the relationship between depression and life satisfaction among survivors of traumatic brain injury (TBI) over a 3-year period after injury. It was hypothesized that survivors of TBI with depression would have decreased life satisfaction.

Design: Two groups (depression vs no depression) longitudinal design.

Methods: Interviewed survivors of TBI (n = 324) by telephone at 24, 48 and 60 months after hospitalization. At the 24-month interview, 90 (27.8%) respondents reported a post-injury diagnosis of depression and 234 (72.2%) reported no diagnosis. Respondents then completed the Life Satisfaction Index I-A, which was repeated at the 48- and 60-month interviews.

Results: The depression group had significantly lower life satisfaction than the no depression group at 24-, 48- and 60-month interviews.

Conclusion: Depression and diminished life satisfaction among survivors of TBI are persistent problems that require the close attention of medical and rehabilitation professionals.