Can information communication technology improve outcomes for patients with TBI?

April 03, 2018

Awarded a $2.2 million federal grant to sustain its research through 2022, Mayo Clinic's Traumatic Brain Injury Model System (TBIMS) Center is currently working with the Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance (MN BIA) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) in a community-based randomized clinical trial. This trial is designed to address three chronic unmet needs of individuals with TBI and their families in the U.S.:

  • Ineffective connection to specialized medical/community resources in the transition from hospital to community-based care
  • Limited access to TBI experts
  • Variable primary care provider (PCP) knowledge about the complex needs of individuals with TBI

Mayo Clinic's medical rehabilitation expertise will be integrated with MN BIA Resource Facilitation services to connect individuals with TBI to community resources and deliver direct clinical care remotely using telemedicine and other information communication technology (ICT), including phone and web-based services, to achieve the following anticipated outcomes:

  • Individuals with TBI will show greater improvement in participation in desired roles and quality of life.
  • Their families will report reduced caregiver burden and distress.
  • Their PCPs will report increased mastery in caring for individuals with TBI.

Researchers will document patient outcomes and cost-effectiveness of the ICT-based care and resource delivery model, and compare this data with outcomes and costs from a group of patients who receive usual care in their communities.

"The long-term goal of this project is the development of a replicable, sustainable and cost-effective model of telemedicine care that integrates TBIMS centers and community-based advocacy services nationwide to improve outcomes after TBI," says physiatrist Allen W. Brown, M.D., principal investigator with Mayo Clinic's TBIMS Center.

Additional collaborators

This project includes collaboration and assistance from Mayo Clinic's Center for Connected Care, Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery and Social Media Network. In addition to the MN BIA and the Health Economics Program of MDH, the trial will also continue collaboration with CareHubs Inc., an online community engagement platform for the health care industry. Mayo Clinic's Regional TBI Advisory Council participated in this trial's design and will provide research oversight.

About Mayo Clinic's TBIMS Center

Led by Dr. Brown, Anne M. Moessner, R.N., and Thomas Bergquist, Ph.D., L.P., Mayo's TBIMS Center has contributed data to the longitudinal TBIMS National Database — the largest nonproprietary TBI data set in the world tracking outcomes for over 16,000 individuals — for nearly 20 years. Mayo Clinic researchers have completed numerous analyses using these data to understand outcome prediction and the natural history of recovery after TBI.

Mayo's TBIMS Center researchers specialize in the analysis of population-based epidemiologic data related to TBI, new ways to increase care delivery system capacity and access to specialized brain rehabilitation care, and the use of ICT to improve participation and quality of life after TBI.

This is the center's fifth consecutive five-year funding award since 1998. Funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), within the Administration for Community Living and Department of Health and Human Services, the center remains one of the most recognized and innovative brain rehabilitation research institutions and clinical practices in the nation. This funding also supports the center's continued collaboration with the other 15 TBI Model System Centers.