Advocacy Skills Training for Families Impacted by TBI

Period of Performance: 06/01/2007 - 05/31/2008


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Oregon Center for Applied Science, Inc.
EUGENE, OR 97401
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): In the United States, there are 3.9 million adults disabled as the result of traumatic brain injury (TBI). These people live with significant and permanent alterations in social, behavioral, physical, and cognitive functioning. If they are to obtain the services that are necessary to address the effects of TBI, families need to be effective advocates. However, the significant impact of brain injury on families leaves them poorly equipped to advocate for services, especially in this era of shrinking availability of rehabilitation options. This Phase I project successfully developed an interactive multimedia CD-ROM for families affected by TBI, focusing on effective communication skills used to advocate for services to address social behavior in adults with TBI. Phase II development will adapt the CD-ROM materials for Internet use and expand content to include: (a) four additional advocacy skills, (b) additional areas of concern (e.g., physical/medical issues, cognitive functioning, psychosocial concerns, vocational planning, community integration, and substance abuse/misuse), (c) the ability to tailor information by degree of support provided by the family member to the individual with brain injury, and (d) a repeat-visit function. In addition, a web-based chat room will provide social support. This interactive multimedia (IMM) program will provide family members training in key skills needed to advocate for TBI-related services. The benefits of the IMM format include: proven effectiveness; low cost; individualized, self-paced mastery learning; objective tracking of the users' progress; and availability of training materials regardless of busy family schedules. The market for the CD-ROM product includes all families impacted by the TBI of their adult relative, non-family caregivers, and rehabilitation professionals providing TBI- related services.