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Study to identify best rehabilitation therapies for patients with traumatic brain injuries
Date:12/15/2008

CHICAGO Rush University Medical Center and 10 other healthcare facilities in the U.S. and Canada have been awarded a $4.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to identify which rehabilitation therapies, or combination of therapies, can best help victims of traumatic brain injuries. Rush is the only center in Illinois participating in the study.

"Our aim in this study is to isolate individual components of the range of therapies we use to treat our patients and determine how, and to what degree, each is associated with improved function," said Dr. James Young, chairman of the department of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Rush and an internationally recognized expert in the treatment of brain injuries.

The five-year study will collect the records of more than 2,300 patients who have suffered moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries, including detailed demographic, diagnostic and clinical profiles of each patient. Daily logs will be kept of the individually tailored treatment programs the patients undergo in physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech/language therapy, physiatry (physical medicine), psychology/psychiatry, and social support. Outcomes will be catalogued and correlated with both the patients' characteristics and therapeutic interventions.

The researchers will then analyze the data to determine which therapies were the most successful in improving outcomes for patients with different types and severities of traumatic brain injuries.

Patients will also be followed for a full year after being discharged to assess their quality of life, including whether they were able to live independently, drive a vehicle, and participate in daily activities.

The analysis will involve an unusual research methodology called practice-based evidence for clinical practice improvement, which relies on data from routine clinical practice to determine what works for whom, when, and at what cost. Th
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Contact: Sharon Butler
sharon_butler@rush.edu
312-942-7816
Rush University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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