Congratulations to Tolu Oyesanya, assistant professor, and her entire team who received the NIH/NICHD award for her proposal entitled "Enhancing the Transition from Hospital to Home for Patients with Traumatic Brain Injury and Families." This award issued funding for $327,144 for a two-year period with a start date of February 1, 2020.
Despite high risks of readmission and complex medical needs, there are no transitional care standards in the U.S. for patients with moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). Patients with moderate-to-severe TBI (age < 65 years) discharged home from acute hospital care without inpatient rehabilitation have cognitive, physical, behavioral, and emotional impairments that affect their abilities to independently self-manage their health, wellness, and activities of daily living. Activity limitations often result in increased family involvement for managing the person’s care. The complexity of needs combined with the fragmentation of healthcare services creates the perfect storm for mismanaged symptoms, adverse health events, readmissions, and a lower likelihood of return to work and school. Transitional care is defined as actions in the clinical encounter designed to ensure the coordination and continuity of healthcare for patients transferring between different locations or levels of care in close geographic proximity. In other patient groups who experience acute events (e.g., stroke, myocardial infarction), transitional care management has led to improved patient and family outcomes. Although preliminary research shows that patients with TBI and families desire and could benefit from interventions to support the transition from acute hospital care to home, the strength of evidence on this topic is low. TBI transitional care interventions developed to date are ineffective in improving functional outcomes and do not incorporate family needs. Thus, the purpose of our study is to first develop and refine a patient- and family-centered TBI transitional care intervention to support patients with moderate-to-severe TBI and their family caregivers during the transition home from acute hospital care. The intervention will aim to improve functional status for patients with TBI, reduce strain for their family caregivers, and direct patients and families to appropriate resources and care that is concordant with their health-related goals. Second, we will examine the feasibility and acceptability and assess the preliminary efficacy of the TBI transitional care intervention. Our primary outcome will be patient functional status at 8 weeks post-discharge. We will also examine secondary outcomes at 8 weeks post-discharge, including family caregiver strain and preparedness for the caregiving role, and patient and family caregiver self-efficacy and healthcare utilization. The new knowledge generated from the proposed research will guide our research team in designing and conducting an NIH R01 implementation-effectiveness clinical trial of the TBI transitional care intervention and will ultimately enhance the standard of care for patients with TBI discharged home from acute hospital care and families.