Dr. ChenThe UAB Traumatic Brain Injury Model System (UAB-TBIMS) conducts independent and collaborative research projects. The UABTBIMS was part of a recent collaborative research study on the resilience of caregivers at six months following traumatic brain injury (TBI). The Virginia Commonwealth Traumatic Brain Injury Model System led the multi-center study, and other participating centers included Mayo Clinic Traumatic Brain Injury Model System, Indiana Traumatic Brain Injury Model System, Rocky Mountain Regional Brain Injury System, and the Northern New Jersey Traumatic Brain Injury System.

A total of 176 participants responded to surveys over telephone, online, mail, or in-person. Participants were the primary caregivers of individuals with moderate-to-severe TBI newly enrolled in the TBI Model Systems (TBIMS) National Database (NDB).

The study looked at what contributes to resilience among caregivers. The goal was to identify important areas rehabilitation professionals can target to help improve caregiver resilience as well as outcomes for people with TBI.

The study found that meeting the family’s need for emotional support helps caregivers who are adjusting to the impacts of TBI on the family during the first six months post-injury. Rehabilitation professionals should make every effort to facilitate that emotional support by providing resources for supporting engagement with community agencies, peer mentors, and support groups.

This study was funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research and published in Rehabilitation Psychology. The UAB-TBIMS project co-director, Jenny Marwitz, was lead author of the publication.