Recovery from a Moderate or Severe TBI

Some of the health problems that result from a moderate or severe TBI may be prevented or lessened. Getting help with these lifelong issues, also known as chronic disease management, is crucial for improving the lives of persons living with a TBI.1,2

How well a person recovers from a moderate or severe TBI depends on multiple factors, such as:

  • The health of the person before the injury
  • Type and severity of the TBI
  • Access to healthcare and specialized TBI care, and
  • Family and other social support1

Healthcare providers can connect people to specialized TBI care

Older adult patient holding a hand with doctor.

A person with a moderate or severe TBI may need specialized medical care, such as rehabilitation, after their injury. This may include getting help with re-learning skills (e.g., walking, speaking, driving). A healthcare provider can help find and connect people to these services in their community. A healthcare provider may also:3

  • Screen for and treat problems, such as depression
  • Encourage lifestyles that promote brain health
  • Educate patients and their families to prevent or reduce problems that may show up after the injury

Rehabilitation seeks to improve the lives of people living with TBI

The goal of TBI rehabilitation is to improve the overall quality of life for persons living with TBI and lower the chance for a TBI-related disability. Rehabilitation programs and services may help those living with TBI by:

  • Improving their ability to do daily tasks independently
  • Engage with friends and family, and
  • Participate in their community activities1  

Stay connected to others during recovery

There are many people who can help you if you or someone you know has experienced a moderate or severe TBI. You do not have to do it alone. Examples of some groups that offer support for people living with a TBI, their family, and loved ones, include the:

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Report to Congress on traumatic brain injury in the United States: Epidemiology and rehabilitation. Atlanta (GA): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2015.
  2. Masel BE, DeWitt D. Traumatic brain injury: a disease process, not an event. J Neurotrauma. 2010;27(8):1529-1540.
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health. Moderate to Severe Traumatic Brain Injury is a Lifelong Condition. Available at: