In civilian, military, and veteran populations, there is increased recognition of the interrelationship between traumatic brain injury (TBI) and some psychological health (PH) disorders and the need to better understand the relationships by integrating research for these topics. The use of different measures to assess similar study variables and/or assess outcomes may limit important advances in PH and TBI research. Without a set of common data elements (CDEs; to include variable definitions and recommended measures for the purpose of this discussion), comparison of findings across studies is challenging. The federal agencies involved in PH and TBI research, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Department of Veterans Affairs, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, and Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center, therefore cosponsored a scientific initiative to develop CDEs for PH and TBI research. Scientific experts were invited to participate in 1 of 8 working groups to develop recommendations for specific topic-driven CDEs. Draft recommendations were presented and discussed in the workshop "Advancing Integrated Research in Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury: Common Data Elements (CDE)" held on March 23-24, 2009, in Silver Spring, MD. The overall process leading to the workshop and subsequent recommendations by the working groups are presented in this article. Topic-driven recommendations for CDEs are presented in individual reports in this edition.
Published by Elsevier Inc.