Supporting Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Caregivers

2014-08-27 03:57:18 | BioPortfolio


This randomized trial tested a 6 month intervention of computer network vs a control group (standard care) to improve quality of life and health status for traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients and their caregivers. The network, termed the Trauma Recovery Support System (TRSS), consisted of a central computer system connected via modem to a personal computer in the caregiver's home. Users could access via the Internet special modules and communication services to help them cope with their new roles as caregivers and with accompanying social isolation. These modules were an on-line discussion group, an "ask an expert questions" function, a database of previously asked questions with answers, a database of community resources, and a reference library.


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) has long-term and often devastating impacts on a family. The spouse or partner caring for an individual with TBI experiences significant emotional distress, and psychological and physical morbidity. Clinical experience indicates that patients with strong family support progress further than those without family involvement. There is strong evidence that support provided to caregivers improves their well being, as well as that of the care recipient. The trial was designed to lessen her morbidity, improve her support for the TBI partner, and improve recovery of the TBI person.

The effectiveness of a newly developed Trauma Recovery Support System (TRSS) was evaluated using a randomized controlled experimental design. Sixty-four patient/caregiver pairs were recruited, and those (randomly) assigned to the experimental group received access to the centralized TRSS via a personal computer in their homes including access via Internet to special modules and communication services to help them cope with their new roles as caregivers and with accompanying social isolation. Modules consist of an on-line discussion group, an "ask an expert questions" function, a database of previously asked questions with answers, a database of community resources, and a reference library. Controls received standard care. All participants (experimental and control) were interviewed at 0, 3, and 6 months from time of patient discharge, initially in person and later by phone to evaluate the status of the caregiver (quality of life and health status) and TBI patient recovery. Sociodemographic and other background data was collected.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Control: Active Control, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Treatment


Traumatic Brain Injuries


Social Support


Active, not recruiting


Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:57:18-0400

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Acute and chronic (see also BRAIN INJURIES, CHRONIC) injuries to the brain, including the cerebral hemispheres, CEREBELLUM, and BRAIN STEM. Clinical manifestations depend on the nature of injury. Diffuse trauma to the brain is frequently associated with DIFFUSE AXONAL INJURY or COMA, POST-TRAUMATIC. Localized injuries may be associated with NEUROBEHAVIORAL MANIFESTATIONS; HEMIPARESIS, or other focal neurologic deficits.

Traumatic injuries to the cranium where the integrity of the skull is not compromised and no bone fragments or other objects penetrate the skull and dura mater. This frequently results in mechanical injury being transmitted to intracranial structures which may produce traumatic brain injuries, hemorrhage, or cranial nerve injury. (From Rowland, Merritt's Textbook of Neurology, 9th ed, p417)

A form of acquired brain injury which occurs when a sudden trauma causes damage to the brain.

Bleeding within the SKULL induced by penetrating and nonpenetrating traumatic injuries, including hemorrhages into the tissues of CEREBRUM; BRAIN STEM; and CEREBELLUM; as well as into the epidural, subdural and subarachnoid spaces of the MENINGES.

Traumatic injuries involving the cranium and intracranial structures (i.e., BRAIN; CRANIAL NERVES; MENINGES; and other structures). Injuries may be classified by whether or not the skull is penetrated (i.e., penetrating vs. nonpenetrating) or whether there is an associated hemorrhage.

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