New Study will Help Casa Colina's Traumatic Brain Injury Patients
Brain Injury Rehabilitation in Southern California
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the leading causes of death and
disability in young people. Recovery from a TBI is a very long and complex
process and often individuals with a TBI will experience lifelong disabilities
due to cognitive, behavioral, emotional, and social deficits. Unfortunately,
for a large number of TBI patients, medical care does not extend past
hospital discharge, resulting in poor community re-integration and other
negative outcomes including falls, re-hospitalizations, unemployment,
and psychosocial issues.
Casa Colina has a long history of extending clinical care from the acute
rehabilitation hospital to the post-acute care setting and finally to
the outpatient and home environments with the goal of allowing individuals
with TBI to lead productive and fulfilling lives. Since Casa Colina is
always focused on ways to expand and strengthen its continuum of care,
it recently started a research study to investigate the idea of "patient
navigation" in post-acute rehabilitation for TBI. This is a model
adopted from the cancer field and matched to fit the needs of patients
with long-term disabilities.
What is the purpose of this study?
Individuals who have suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) experience
a number of impairments and disabilities, which often results in the continued
need for support. Unfortunately for a large number of TBI patients, support
does not extend past hospital discharge, often resulting in poor community
integration and other negative outcomes including falls, re-hospitalizations,
unemployment, and psychosocial issues.
In an effort to improve patient outcomes following discharge, we have recently
started a new clinical research project to investigate a role for "patient
navigation" in post-acute rehabilitation for TBI. Patient navigation
is a model of care adopted from the cancer field, where patients are given
a navigator - a professional to assist with coordination of care among
providers, facilitating communication among the family and healthcare
providers, psychosocial support to the patient and families, patient and
family education, linking families with community resources, and for financial
issues such as insurance.
The goal of this new program is to create a system that will allow patients
to seamlessly transition from post-acute medical and rehabilitation services
back to the community. In addition, Casa Colina's clinicians hope
to gain a better understanding of the cognitive, physical, psychosocial,
and physiological needs of people with TBI over the course of their recovery
beyond discharge. This study is currently funded for two years by the
generous support of the Casa Colina Foundation.
What is involved with participation in the study?
Subjects involved in this study will be assigned a navigator, who is a
licensed social worker, for the duration of the two-year study. The navigator
will be supported by a team that includes a physical medicine and rehabilitation
physician, a neuropsychologist, an occupational therapist, and a financial
expert. The overall role of the navigation team will be to identify and
address issues that prevent successful community re-entry. Subjects who
enroll will need to commit to testing on Casa Colina's campus 6 times
during the study. Testing will last 4 hours during which the subject will
be seen by a physician, neuropsychologist, occupational therapist, and
researcher. Participation in this study is at no cost to the subject.
Who is eligible to participate?
Men and women with a diagnosis of TBI who:
- Have experienced a TBI within the last nine months
- Are less than 70 years of age
- Have earned a Rancho score above IV
- Live within 60 miles of Casa Colina's Pomona campus
To learn more, please call Emily Rosario, Ph.D., Director of the Casa Colina
Research Institute at 909/596-7733, ext. 3036 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.