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The effects of exercise to promote quality of life in individuals with traumatic brain injuries: a systematic review

O'Caroll, Grace; King, Stephanie L.; Carroll, Sean; Perry, John; Vanicek, Natalie


Grace O'Caroll

John Perry


© 2020 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Objective: To systematically review the effects of exercise interventions that may enhance quality of life (QOL) in individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI). Methods: A systematic search was conducted using five databases up to April 2018. Studies were included if QOL was quantified following an exercise programme for people with a TBI. Methodological quality was assessed using a validated scoring checklist. Two independent reviewers assessed study inclusion and methodological quality. Results: Thirteen studies met the inclusion criteria (seven RCTs, six non-RCTs). The median total scores for the quality assessment tool were 26.1 (RCTs), and 21.3 (non-RCTs), out of 33. Eight out of the 13 studies reported improved QOL following an exercise programme. The duration of the interventions varied from 8-12weeks. The most common programmes involved moderate to vigorous exercise; with a frequency and duration of 3–5 times/week for 30–60minutes. Conclusion: Due to the diversity of the exercise training interventions, heterogeneity of patient characteristics, multitude of QOL instruments and outcome domains assessed, it was not possible to draw any definitive conclusion about the effectiveness of exercise interventions. However, this review identified positive trends to enhance various aspects of QOL measured using a range of assessment tools.


O'Caroll, G., King, S. L., Carroll, S., Perry, J., & Vanicek, N. (in press). The effects of exercise to promote quality of life in individuals with traumatic brain injuries: a systematic review. Brain Injury, 1-13.

Journal Article Type Review
Acceptance Date Aug 13, 2020
Online Publication Date Nov 15, 2020
Deposit Date Sep 11, 2020
Publicly Available Date Nov 16, 2021
Journal Brain Injury
Print ISSN 0269-9052
Electronic ISSN 1362-301X
Publisher Taylor and Francis
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Pages 1-13
Keywords Traumatic brain injury; Rehabilitation; Exercise; Quality of life
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Copyright Statement
©2020 The authors. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder

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