Research Objectives: To compare an evidence-based in-person brain injury group intervention, Brain Injury Coping Skills (BICS), to a web-based telemedicine version.
Design: Randomized Controlled Trial
Setting: Post-acute Rehabilitation Hospital
Participants: Fifty consented to participate in the study with 25 randomized to the in-person group and 25 randomized to the telemedicine group. The study was completed in three waves with each wave consisting of 14-20 participants randomly split between in-person and telemedicine platforms. Participants consisted of 28 participants with brain injury and 22 caregivers.
Interventions: Regardless of group assignment, all participants completed 12 two-hour weekly sessions covering the same six modules (Introduction to the Brain Injury, Expectations for Recovery, Tips on Managing Challenging Problems, Depression after Brain Injury, Stress Management, and Communicating Effectively with Professionals). Participants assigned to the telemedicine group were provided IPads preloaded with Zoom for use during the study.
Main Outcome Measures: Primary outcome measures include the Brain Injury Coping Skills Questionnaire (BICSQ) for assessing self-efficacy and Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS®) Health Related Quality of Life (HRQL).
Results: Both groups started with equivalent levels of self-efficacy and HRQOL measured with the BICS-Q and PROMIS, respectively. During treatment, both groups improved on both self-efficacy and HRQOL (p <.05) without showing any significant differences between groups at the end of treatment (p>.05) supporting the hypothesis that BICS offered via Telehealth would be as beneficial as BICS offered in person.
Conclusions: The study supports the use of telemedicine for group interventions after brain injury. Participants in the telemedicine group showed equal gains in self-efficacy and satisfaction and didn’t show any differences in outcomes when directly compared to the in-person group. Additionally, the difference in withdrawal rates between the groups further supports the utility of offering telemedicine options for populations with higher transportation needs and dependence on caregiver schedules.
Author(s) Disclosures: n/a
Upon completion, participants will be able to discuss the benefits of providing BICS over telemedicine platforms
Upon completion, participants will be able to discuss outcomes comparing a group brain injury intervention delivered electronically compared to in-person.
Upon completion, participants will be able to discuss how to deliver BICS over telemedicine in an effective way.