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Lew HL, Garvert DW, Pogoda TK, Hsu PT, Devine JM, White DK, Myers PJ, Goodrich GL. Auditory and visual impairments in patients with blast-related traumatic brain injury: Effect of dual sensory impairment on Functional Independence Measure. Journal of rehabilitation research and development. 2009 Jan 1; 46(6):819-26.
The frequencies of hearing impairment (HI), vision impairment (VI), or dual (hearing and vision) sensory impairment (DSI) in patients with blast-related traumatic brain injury (TBI) and their effects on functional recovery are not well documented. In this preliminary study of 175 patients admitted to a Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center, we completed hearing and vision examinations and obtained Functional Independence Measure (FIM) scores at admission and discharge for 62 patients with blast-related TBI. We diagnosed HI only, VI only, and DSI in 19%, 34%, and 32% of patients, respectively. Only 15% of the patients had no sensory impairment in either auditory or visual modality. An analysis of variance showed a group difference for the total and motor FIM scores at discharge (p < 0.04). Regression model analyses demonstrated that DSI significantly contributed to reduced gain in total ( t = -2.25) and motor ( t = -2.50) FIM scores ( p < 0.05). Understanding the long-term consequences of sensory impairments in the functional recovery of patients with blast-related TBI requires further research.