tbiAccording to a news release from Kessler Foundation, it will serve as one of four sites slated to participate in a multi-site 5-year study funded by the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Nursing Research and designed to assess the challenges faced by caregivers of traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients. The release notes that the University of Michigan is the lead center for study. Noelle Carlozzi, PhD, will serve as principal investigator with Nancy Chiaravalloti, PhD, serving as co-investigator of the Kessler site. Chiaravalloti is project director of the Northern New Jersey Traumatic Brain Injury System and director of TBI Research at Kessler Foundation.

The “Quality of Life in Caregivers of Traumatic Brain Injury: The Development of the TBI-CareQOL” study has 3 phases. The first of these phases calls for caregivers of individuals with documented TBI to participate in focus groups in order to discuss issues linked to their quality of life (QOL). Researchers note that in order to assess the impact of TBI on QOL, data are collected from the patient records regarding type of injury, cause of injury, severity of injury, lengths of stay, and possibly associated injuries.

In the second phase, the release reports that caregivers are required to complete a draft measurement tool and the various questions are evaluated for appropriateness and utility, as well as other statistical properties. During the third and final phase, caregivers who completed the draft assessment tool are interviewed to evaluate their experience.

The ultimate goal of the study, researchers say, is to develop a measure of QOL that is specific to caregivers of individuals with TBI.

“This study will result in a new tool that will help clinicians understand the issues these caregivers face and identify the need for additional treatment and resources both the patients with TBI and their families,” John DeLuca, PhD, VP, research and training, says.

Researchers emphasize the study’s significance, since caregivers have been identified as underserved population in both civilian and in military life, yet reportedly there remains a lack of measures of high-related quality of life (HRQOL).

Source: Kessler Foundation