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Scheduled telephone intervention for traumatic brain injury: a multicenter randomized controlled trial.


Bell KR, Brockway JA, Hart T, Whyte J, Sherer M, Fraser RT, Temkin NR, Dikmen SS



Publication Info:

Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, 92(10):1552-1560


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of a Scheduled Telephone Intervention (STI) compared with usual care (UC) on function, health/emotional status, community/work activities, and well-being at 1 and 2 years after traumatic brain injury (TBI).
DESIGN: Two group, randomized controlled trial.
SETTING: Telephone contacts with subjects recruited in inpatient rehabilitation.
PARTICIPANTS: Eligible subjects (N=433) with TBI (age>16y) were randomly assigned to STI plus UC (n=210) or UC (n=223) at discharge. STI subjects (n=169) completed the outcome at year 1 (118 at year 2) and 174 UC subjects at year 1 (123 at year 2).
INTERVENTIONS: STI subjects received calls at 2 and 4 weeks and 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 12, 15, 18, and 21 months consisting of brief training in problem solving, education, or referral.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: A composite outcome at 1 year was the primary endpoint. Analysis on intent-to-treat basis used linear regression adjusted for site, Glasgow Coma Scale, race/ethnicity, age, FIM, sex, and Disability Rating Scale (DRS). Secondary analyses were conducted on individual and composite measures (FIM, DRS, community participation indicators, Glasgow Outcome Scale [Extended], Short Form-12 Health Survey, Brief Symptom Inventory-18, EuroQOL, and modified Perceived Quality of Life).
RESULTS: No significant differences were noted between the groups at years 1 or 2 for primary (P=.987 regression for year 1, P=.983 for year 2) or secondary analyses.
CONCLUSIONS: This study failed to replicate the findings of a previous single center study of telephone-based counseling. While telephone mediated treatment has shown promise in other studies, this model of flexible counseling in problem solving and education for varied problems was not effective over and above usual care.

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