Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a frequent cause of disability and decreased participation that is associated with substantial societal costs and emotional distress. While physical and cognitive impairments may be most prominent early after TBI, emotional distress, decreased health-related quality of life, and decreased participation such as inability to live independently, maintain employment, or establish satisfying social relationships are key concerns of persons with TBI and their families/significant others in the post-acute period of recovery. Input from persons with TBI and families members who participated in focus groups at our Center identified decreasing emotional distress and improving participation as key goals that they desire and key issues that they believe should be addressed with research. The Texas TBI Model System of TIRR will conduct a program of research, dissemination activities, and clinical care designed to decrease emotional distress and to improve participation outcomes for persons with TBI.
Our research activities will include: (1) contributions to the TBI Model Systems (TBIMS) National Database, (2) participation in collaborative, module projects once determined by Project Directors after the beginning of the new funding cycle, and (3) a local project that is a randomized controlled trial of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) as compared to a devised standard of care intervention to decrease emotional distress and improve participation for persons with TBI. Our center will contribute at least 60 cases annually to the TBIMS Database, far exceeding the minimum required contribution of 35 cases per year. Our proven procedures with continue to ensure that we achieve enrollment targets and meet or exceed all TBIMS data quality and follow-up completion targets. Our extensive track record of successful multicenter TBI research will ensure our success in collaborative module projects in which we participate. Our innovative clinical trial of ACT to reduce emotional distress and improve participation after TBI will be the first application of this promising new therapy to persons with TBI. This initial trial will lead to larger multicenter comparative effectiveness trials using this intervention.
Our center will conduct a program of dissemination activities designed to reach healthcare providers, persons with TBI, family/close others, and other consumers. We will present findings at local, regional, and national meeting and publish articles in scholarly journals. We will disseminate information in a wide range of venues using a wide variety of formats to ensure that information is accessible to all, including persons with disabilities and those from traditionally underserved populations.
We will collaborate with trauma centers at Memorial Hermann and Ben Taub hospitals, the clinical teams at TIRR and Quentin Mease rehabilitation hospitals, and the staff providing post-acute community integration services at the TIRR Challenge Program to ensure that a comprehensive, multidisciplinary, system of rehabilitation care is provided to persons with TBI enrolled in our projects. We will seek input to our projects from the clinical rehabilitation teams.
Research questions to be addressed by out projects, research design, and dissemination activities were informed by input from persons with TBI and family members/close others of persons with TBI. Our center will have ongoing processes to seek additional consumer input in design, implementation, and evaluation of our activities, outputs, and outcomes. Outputs including peer reviewed articles, presentations, webinars, state-of-the-science dissemination conferences, consumer brochures, and website content will effectively disseminate findings of our research projects and general information on TBI to all stakeholders including persons with TBI, family members/significant others, healthcare providers, researchers, and makers of public policy.