This study seeks to determine if problem-based telephone counseling improves quality of life
and emotional well-being for caregivers of persons with moderate to severe traumatic brain
Caregivers and patients with TBI are recruited from the acute medical and inpatient
rehabilitation units at Harborview Medical Center and the University of Washington Medical
Center in Seattle, WA. After informed consent is obtained, information is gathered from the
caregiver about his/her living situation, support systems, and the nature of the caregiving
relationship. Additional information is gathered from the person with TBI about how he/she
is doing cognitively, socially, and emotionally. Prior to discharge home, caregivers are
randomly selected to receive either standard care (typical support and/or resources) or
standard care plus problem-based telephone counseling.
The telephone follow-up group receives a telephone call from a caregiver support specialist
at 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, and 16 weeks after discharge of the patient with TBI home with
the option of two additional calls. During those calls, the caregiver support specialist
provides training on problem-solving skills along with education on topics of interest to
caregivers of persons with TBI.
An outcome assessment is done at 6 months and 1 year after discharge home.
- Family member or other person having a long-term relationship (at least one year)
with person with TBI admitted to hospital and discharged home from acute care,
inpatient rehabilitation, and/or skilled nursing facility within 7 months of date of
- Sufficient English to permit communication without an interpreter.
- Lack of a telephone.
- Lack of a permanent home address.