Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Upton, Thomas


Brain injury has a tremendous effect on the United States. The medical system has a continuum of care available but many of these services are extremely expensive. Despite the effectiveness of residential post-acute brain injury rehabilitation (PABIR) resistance to provide adequate funding remains because of a dearth of randomized controlled trial (RCT) studies demonstrating effectiveness. Some research suggests observational trials are typically more representative of community samples and yield conclusions similar to RCT studies. This study uses a large multi-state naturalistic community-based sample of individuals who received residential PABIR. The purposes of this study were to (1) use logistic regression to identify a model that considered the relationships among the predictor variables to explain treatment outcome for individuals receiving residential PABIR and (2) better understand how self-awareness influences treatment outcome. The final model contained five independent variables (substance use at time of admit, functioning level at time of admit, change in awareness between discharge and admit, admit before or after 6 months post-injury (TPI), and length of stay (LOS) in the program less than or greater than 2 months). The model was statistically significant, ÷2 (5, N=434) = 194.751, p < .001, accounting for 36.2% (Cox & Snell R square) to 61.3% (Nagelkerke R square) of the variance in success rate, and correctly classified 89.4% of cases. Four of the five predictor variables (current substance use, change in awareness, LOS 2 months and TPI 6 months) made statistically significant contributions to the model. The strongest predictor of successful treatment outcome was change in awareness recording an odds ratio of 29.9 indicating that individuals who improved in self-awareness by at least one level were nearly 30 times more likely to be in the successful outcome group, controlling for other factors in the model. Participants were also more likely to be in the successful outcome group if they admitted within 6-months post-injury (5.5x) and stayed longer than 2-months (4.4x). Findings also suggest that active substance use at time of admission did not prevent people from being successful. Importance and implications of these findings are discussed.




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