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Behavioural Neurology
Volume 2016, Article ID 7928014, 14 pages
Research Article

Assessment of Health-Related Quality of Life after TBI: Comparison of a Disease-Specific (QOLIBRI) with a Generic (SF-36) Instrument

1Institute of Medical Psychology and Medical Sociology, University of Medicine Göttingen, Waldweg 37, 37073 Göttingen, Germany
2Department of Public Health, Erasmus Medical College, P.O. Box 2040, 3000 CA Rotterdam, Netherlands
3Institute for Community Medicine, Section of Methods in Community Medicine, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt University, Walther-Rathenau-Straße 48, 17475 Greifswald, Germany
4Hoensbroeck Rehabilitation Centre, Postbus 88, 6430 AB Hoensbroek, Netherlands
5Maastricht University, P.O. Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht, Netherlands
6Department of Medical Psychology, University Hospital Eppendorf, Martinistraße 52, 20251 Hamburg, Germany
7Centre for Rehabilitation of Brain Injury and Centre for Cognition and Memory, University of Copenhagen, Njalsgade 88, 2300 Copenhagen, Denmark
8IRCCS, Rehabilitation Hospital, Santa Lucia Foundation, Via Ardeatina 306-354, 00179 Rome, Italy
9Department of Psychology, University of Bonn, Kaiser-Karl-Ring 9, 53111 Bonn, Germany
10Department of Medical Psychology, Medical University of Innsbruck, Schöpfstraße 23a, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
11Institute of Behavioural Sciences, University of Helsinki, Siltavuorenpenger 5 A, P.O. Box 9, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
12Department of Neurosurgery, Antwerp University Hospital and University of Antwerp, Wilrijkstraat 10, Edegem, 2650 Antwerp, Belgium
13IFOM, Private University of Witten/Herdecke, Ostmerheimer Straße 200, 51109 Köln, Germany
14Goldsmiths College, Department of Psychology, New Cross, London SE14 6NW, UK
15Validia Rehabilitation, Department of Clinical Neuropsychology and Psychology, Mannerheimintie 107, 00280 Helsinki, Finland
16Institute for Psychology, Department of Health and Prevention, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt University, 17475 Greifswald, Germany
17Medical Faculty, Westphalian Wilhelms-University, Domagkstraße 3, 48149 Münster, Germany
18Martha Jefferson Association Hospital, 459 Locust Avenue, Charlottesville, VA 22902, USA
19Service of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (MPR), Raymond Poincaré Hospital, 104 boulevard Raymond-Poincaré, 92380 Garches, France

Received 24 July 2015; Revised 26 October 2015; Accepted 4 November 2015

Academic Editor: Luigi Ferini-Strambi

Copyright © 2016 Nicole von Steinbuechel et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Psychosocial, emotional, and physical problems can emerge after traumatic brain injury (TBI), potentially impacting health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Until now, however, neither the discriminatory power of disease-specific (QOLIBRI) and generic (SF-36) HRQoL nor their correlates have been compared in detail. These aspects as well as some psychometric item characteristics were studied in a sample of 795 TBI survivors. The Shannon index absolute informativity, as an indicator of an instrument’s power to differentiate between individuals within a specific group or health state, was investigated. Psychometric performance of the two instruments was predominantly good, generally higher, and more homogenous for the QOLIBRI than for the SF-36 subscales. Notably, the SF-36 “Role Physical,” “Role Emotional,” and “Social Functioning” subscales showed less satisfactory discriminatory power than all other dimensions or the sum scores of both instruments. The absolute informativity of disease-specific as well as generic HRQoL instruments concerning the different groups defined by different correlates differed significantly. When the focus is on how a certain subscale or sum score differentiates between individuals in one specific dimension/health state, the QOLIBRI can be recommended as the preferable instrument.