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Feasibility and Utility of a Flexible Outcome Assessment Battery for Longitudinal Traumatic Brain Injury Research: A TRACK-TBI Study. J Neurotrauma 2023 Feb;40(3-4):337-348



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Pubmed Central ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-85147317594 (requires institutional sign-in at Scopus site)


The effects of traumatic brain injury (TBI) are difficult to measure in longitudinal cohort studies, because disparate pre-injury characteristics and injury mechanisms produce variable impairment profiles and recovery trajectories. In preparation for the Transforming Research and Clinical Knowledge in TBI (TRACK-TBI) study, which followed patients with injuries ranging from uncomplicated mild TBI to coma, we designed a multi-dimensional Flexible outcome Assessment Battery (FAB). The FAB relies on a decision-making algorithm that assigns participants to a Comprehensive (CAB) or Abbreviated Assessment Battery (AAB) and guides test selection across all phases of recovery. To assess feasibility of the FAB, we calculated the proportion of participants followed at 2 weeks (2w) and at 3, 6, and 12 months (3m, 6m, 12m) post-injury who completed the FAB and received valid scores. We evaluated utility of the FAB by examining differences in 6m and 12m Glasgow Outcome Scale-Extended (GOSE) scores between participant subgroups derived from the FAB-enabled versus traditional approach to outcome assessment applied at 2w. Among participants followed at 2w (n = 2094), 3m (n = 1871), 6m (n = 1736), and 12m (n = 1607) post-injury, 95-99% received valid completion scores on the FAB, in full or in part, either in person or by telephone. Level of function assessed by the FAB-enabled approach at 2w was associated with 6m and 12m GOSE scores (proportional odds p < 0.001). These findings suggest that the participant classification methodology afforded by the FAB may enable more effective data collection to improve detection of natural history changes and TBI treatment effects.

Author List

Bodien YG, Barber J, Taylor SR, Boase K, Corrigan JD, Dikmen S, Gardner RC, Kramer JH, Levin H, Machamer J, McAllister T, Nelson LD, Ngwenya LB, Sherer M, Stein MB, Vassar M, Whyte J, Yue JK, Markowitz A, McCrea MA, Manley GT, Temkin N, Giacino JT


Michael McCrea PhD Professor in the Neurosurgery department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Lindsay D. Nelson PhD Associate Professor in the Neurosurgery department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Brain Injuries, Traumatic
Feasibility Studies
Glasgow Outcome Scale
Longitudinal Studies