Moderate to severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a common cause of long-term disability. Due to challenges that include inconsistent access to follow-up care, persons with TBI being discharged from inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs) are at risk for rehospitalization, poor reintegration into the community, family stress, and other unfavorable outcomes resulting from unmet needs. In a six-center randomized pragmatic comparative effectiveness study, the BRITE trial (Brain Injury Rehabilitation: Improving the Transition Experience, ClinicalTrials.govNCT03422276), we compare the effectiveness of two existing methods for transition from IRF to community living or long-term nursing care. The Rehabilitation Discharge Plan (RDP) includes patient/family education and referrals for continued care. The Rehabilitation Transition Plan (RTP) provides RDP plus individualized, manualized care management via phone or videoconference, for 6 months. Nine hundred patients will be randomized (1:1) to RDP or RTP, with caregivers also invited to participate and contribute caregiver-reported outcomes. Extensive stakeholder input, including active participation of persons with TBI and their families, has informed all aspects of trial design and implementation planning. We hypothesize that RTP will result in better patient- and caregiver-reported outcomes (societal participation, quality of life, caregiver well-being) and more efficient use of healthcare resources at 6-months (primary outcome) and 12-months post-discharge, compared to RDP alone. Planned analyses will explore which participants benefit most from each transition model. With few exclusion criteria and other pragmatic features, the findings of this trial are expected to have a broad impact on improving transitions from inpatient TBI rehabilitation. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov identifier NCT03422276.
Keywords: Community participation; Head injury; Pragmatic comparative effectiveness study; Quality of life; Transitional care; Traumatic brain injury.
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