The Virginia Commonwealth TBI Model System

Virginia Commonwealth University’s (VCU) Traumatic Brain Injury Model System (TBIMS) proposal is comprised of four major components. One component, a site-specific research project, is a two-arm randomized controlled trial comparing the benefits of a basic resilience-building intervention with an expanded, patient-centered, resilience intervention. Outcome measures will focus on resilience, emotional distress, adjustment, and stress management. The sustainability of treatment benefits will be investigated. A second component is focused on caregivers. The adverse impact of TBI on caregivers has been well-documented. Reflecting the recent focus on positive psychology, we propose to conduct a multi-center, longitudinal investigation of caregiver resilience. The module will examine caregiver factors associated with resilience including emotional well-being, needs, and perceived burden. Survivor characteristics, including emotional distress, functional status, resilience, and injury characteristics, will also be examined. A third major component relates to the National Database. VCU will continue to collect data for the National Database, and will lead and participate in multi-center, collaborative efforts to examine TBI outcomes and prognostic indicators. A fourth component of our proposal relates to dissemination. VCU will maintain a highly active dissemination program in collaboration with the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center. As in the past, VCU’s dissemination efforts will include a high volume of peer-reviewed publications and consumer-oriented outreach. In partnership with Brain Injury Services and the National Resource Center for TBI, the VCU TBIMS recently hosted our 41st TBI rehabilitation conference in Williamsburg, VA. The conference was the first and remains the longest running TBI rehabilitation conference in the world. The conference planning committee will continue to include research and researchers from other TBIMS sites in planning the next five years of conferences.

VCU has been a major provider of brain injury acute care and inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services to a large, culturally diverse population for more than three decades. VCU Medical Center provides nearly one-third of Virginia’s indigent care and is the largest provider of indigent care in the state. Uninsured patients represent 20 percent of all patients treated, substantiating our strong commitment to serve persons regardless of ability to pay. We have been an active collaborator in the TBIMS since 1987. Since program inception, we have: extended our system of care; developed new partnerships with service providers and advocacy organizations; improved outcome measurement techniques; and successfully developed innovative interventions. Consumer involvement, emphasis on community-based rehabilitation, relevance, and active dissemination to consumer and professional audiences have been cornerstones of program development and implementation. The nearly 400 model systems manuscripts published by our interdisciplinary research team in the past 30 years substantiates assertions that the urban, academic health center setting is ideal for scientific research, innovation, collaboration, and dissemination.

Virginia Commonwealth University
Box 980542
1200 E. Broad Street, Room 3-102
Richmond VA 23298-0542

Project Officer: Amanda Reichard, Ph.D.
Project Number:
David Cifu, M.D.
Co-Project 828-4231
William Walker, M.D.
Co-Project 828-0861
Ron Seel 628-1360
Kristin Graham 828-3701
Daniel Klyce, Ph.D. 628-2758
Robert Perera 827-2037
David Rothman, Ph.D, LCP
Rehab 578-6829
Mark Bender
Research 578-6583
Jeffrey Kreutzer, Ph.D. 828-3704
Laura Albert
Clinical Research 828-2377
Karen Brooke
Research 828-3705
Kevin Murray
Research 347-7897
Katy Walker
Project 828-3703
Carolyn Frey
Clinical Research 229-9143