This study aimed to summarize randomized controlled trials published in the acquired brain injury rehabilitation literature. In all 143 published randomized controlled trials in acquired brain injury rehabilitation literature from January 1980 to October 2012 were included. Measures were area of research, number of studies, sample size, methodological quality, and country of origin. There weren’t any significant variations in median sample sizes (P = .212; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.199-0.215) or PEDro scores (P = .492; 95% CI, .491-.510) between 4 research areas in acquired brain injury: sensory-motor, cognitive-communication, medical complications, and psychosocial. Between 1980 and 2012, there wasn’t any significant difference in median sample sizes (P = .202; 95% CI, 0.198-0.214). Median PEDro scores didn’t improve substantially between 1983-1987 (median = 4, interquartile range = 4.5) and 2008-2012 (median = 6, interquartile range = 2; P = .100; 95% CI, 0.093-0.105).
This study showed the need for additional randomized controlled trials, increased sample sizes, and improved methodological quality to better guide clinical practice for acquired brain injury rehabilitation.