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1.  Improving Client-Centered Brain Injury Rehabilitation Through Research-Based Theater 
Qualitative health research  2012;22(12):1612-1632.
Traumatic brain injury often results in physical, behavioral, and cognitive impairments perceived by health care practitioners to limit or exclude clients’ full participation in treatment decision making. We used qualitative methods to evaluate the short- and long-term impact of “After the Crash: A Play About Brain Injury”, a research-based drama designed to teach client-centered care principles to brain injury rehabilitation staff. We conducted interviews and observations with staff of two inpatient neurorehabilitation units in Ontario, Canada. Findings demonstrate the effectiveness of the play in influencing practice through the avoidance of medical jargon to improve clients’ understanding and participation in treatment; newfound appreciation for clients’ needs for emotional expression and sexual intimacy; increased involvement of family caregivers; and avoidance of staff discussions as if clients were unaware. These findings suggest that research-based drama can effect reflexivity, empathy, and practice change to facilitate a client-centered culture of practice in brain injury rehabilitation.
doi:10.1177/1049732312458370
PMCID: PMC3741155  PMID: 22941919 CAMSID: cams2676
brain injury; emotions/emotion work; health care; interprofessional; performance; research; qualitative
2.  Acute Care Alternate-Level-of-Care Days Due to Delayed Discharge for Traumatic and Non-Traumatic Brain Injuries 
Healthcare Policy  2012;7(4):41-55.
Alternate-level-of-care (ALC) days represent hospital beds that are taken up by patients who would more appropriately be cared for in other settings. ALC days have been found to be costly and may result in worse functional outcomes, reduced motor skills and longer lengths of stay in rehabilitation. This study examines the factors that are associated with acute care ALC days among patients with acquired brain injury (ABI). We used the Discharge Abstract Database to identify patients with ABI using International Classification of Disease-10 codes. From fiscal years 2007/08 to 2009/10, 17.5% of patients with traumatic and 14% of patients with non-traumatic brain injury had at least one ALC day. Significant predictors include having a psychiatric co-morbidity, increasing age and length of stay in acute care. These findings can inform planning for care of people with ABI in a publicly funded healthcare system.
PMCID: PMC3359084  PMID: 23634162
3.  Traumatic brain injury among people who are homeless: a systematic review 
BMC Public Health  2012;12:1059.
Background
Homelessness and poverty are important social problems, and reducing the prevalence of homelessness and the incidence of injury and illness among people who are homeless would have significant financial, societal, and individual implications. Recent research has identified high rates of traumatic brain injury (TBI) among this population, but to date there has not been a review of the literature on this topic. The objective of this systematic review was to review the current state of the literature on TBI and homelessness in order to identify knowledge gaps and direct future research.
Methods
A systematic literature search was conducted in PsycINFO (1887–2012), Embase (1947–2012), and MEDLINE/Pubmed (1966–2012) to identify all published research studies on TBI and homelessness. Data on setting, sampling, outcome measures, and rate of TBI were extracted from these studies.
Results
Eight research studies were identified. The rate of TBI among samples of persons who were homeless varied across studies, ranging from 8%-53%. Across the studies there was generally little information to adequately describe the research setting, sample sizes were small and consisted mainly of adult males, demographic information was not well described, and validated screening tools were rarely used. The methodological quality of the studies included was generally moderate and there was little information to illustrate that the studies were adequately powered or that study samples were representative of the source population. There was also an absence of qualitative studies in the literature.
Conclusions
The rate of TBI is higher among persons who are homeless as compared to the general population. Both descriptive and interventional studies of individuals who are homeless should include a psychometrically sound measure of history of TBI and related disability. Education of caregivers of persons who are at risk of becoming, or are homeless, should involve training on TBI. Dissemination of knowledge to key stakeholders such as people who are homeless, their families, and public policy makers is also advocated.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-1059
PMCID: PMC3538158  PMID: 23216886
Traumatic brain injury; Homelessness; Systematic review
4.  The utility of administrative data for neurotrauma surveillance and prevention in Ontario, Canada 
BMC Research Notes  2012;5:584.
Background
Surveillance of neurotrauma events is necessary to guide the development and evaluation of effective injury prevention initiatives. The aim of this paper is to review potential sources of existing population-based data to inform neurotrauma prevention in Canada, using sources available in Ontario as an example. Data sources, including administrative data holdings from Ontario’s publicly funded health care system and ongoing national surveys, were reviewed to determine the degree of relevance for neurotrauma surveillance, using standards outlined by the World Health Organization as a framework.
Results
Five key data sources were identified for neurotrauma surveillance. Five other sources were considered useful; cause of injury was not identifiable in 5 additional sources; and 4 sources were not relevant for surveillance purposes.
Conclusions
We provide information about which existing data sources are most relevant for neurotrauma surveillance and research, as well as examine the strengths and limitations of these sources. Administrative data can be used to facilitate surveillance of neurotrauma and are considered both useful and cost effective for the development and evaluation of injury prevention programs.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-584
PMCID: PMC3532139  PMID: 23098419
Prevention; Surveillance; Spinal cord injuries; Brain injuries; Data sources
5.  Direct cost associated with acquired brain injury in Ontario 
BMC Neurology  2012;12:76.
Background
Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) from traumatic and non traumatic causes is a leading cause of disability worldwide yet there is limited research summarizing the health system economic burden associated with ABI. The objective of this study was to determine the direct cost of publicly funded health care services from the initial hospitalization to three years post-injury for individuals with traumatic (TBI) and non-traumatic brain injury (nTBI) in Ontario Canada.
Methods
A population-based cohort of patients discharged from acute hospital with an ABI code in any diagnosis position in 2004 through 2007 in Ontario was identified from administrative data. Publicly funded health care utilization was obtained from several Ontario administrative healthcare databases. Patients were stratified according to traumatic and non-traumatic causes of brain injury and whether or not they were discharged to an inpatient rehabilitation center. Health system costs were calculated across a continuum of institutional and community settings for up to three years after initial discharge. The continuum of settings included acute care emergency departments inpatient rehabilitation (IR) complex continuing care home care services and physician visits. All costs were calculated retrospectively assuming the government payer’s perspective.
Results
Direct medical costs in an ABI population are substantial with mean cost in the first year post-injury per TBI and nTBI patient being $32132 and $38018 respectively. Among both TBI and nTBI patients those discharged to IR had significantly higher treatment costs than those not discharged to IR across all institutional and community settings. This tendency remained during the entire three-year follow-up period. Annual medical costs of patients hospitalized with a brain injury in Ontario in the first follow-up year were approximately $120.7 million for TBI and $368.7 million for nTBI. Acute care cost accounted for 46-65% of the total treatment cost in the first year overwhelming all other cost components.
Conclusions
The main finding of this study is that direct medical costs in ABI population are substantial and vary considerably by the injury cause. Although most expenses occur in the first follow-up year ABI patients continue to use variety of medical services in the second and third year with emphasis shifting over time from acute care and inpatient rehabilitation towards homecare physician services and long-term institutional care. More research is needed to capture economic costs for ABI patients not admitted to acute care.
doi:10.1186/1471-2377-12-76
PMCID: PMC3518141  PMID: 22901094
6.  Longitudinal Evaluation of Transition Services (“LETS Study”): Protocol for outcome evaluation 
BMC Pediatrics  2012;12:51.
Background
Because of advances in medical treatment, most children with physical disabilities can expect to achieve near normal life spans. Typically, coordinated teams of health care providers in specialized pediatric settings care for these children. As these children reach adulthood, however, the availability of services and expertise changes because the adult health care system has different processes designed to meet their specialized needs. Gaps in continuity of care during the transition from pediatric to adult services, and associated poor health outcomes are well documented. In response, new models of care are being introduced to address the complex process of health care transition. This paper describes a study protocol of a client-centred, prospective, longitudinal, mixed-method evaluation of linked model of health care across the lifespan (the LIFEspan Model), offered by a pediatric rehabilitation centre and an adult rehabilitation centre.
Method
This project will include a process and an outcome evaluation of the LIFEspan Model. The process evaluation will detail the specific service delivery that occurs with respect to preparation for transition and transfer of care through chart audits of pediatric medical records and qualitative interviews with LIFEspan staff. The outcome evaluation will measure the effect of the model on: 1) maintaining continuity within the health care system from pediatric to adult care; and 2) secondary outcomes related to health, well-being, social participation, transition readiness, and health care utilization of youth with cerebral palsy and acquired brain injury. Standardized instruments will include Health Utilities Inventory, Assessment of Life Habits, Arc’s Self-Determination, Assessment of Health-Related Quality of Life, Partners in Health Questionnaire, Social Support Questionnaire, and Self-Efficacy for Managing Chronic Disease.
Discussion
The LETS study will be original in its undertaking of a prospective examination of outcomes 1-year post-transition, use of multiple comparison groups, and absence of disability-related exclusion criteria ensuring that the transition experiences of varied populations of young people and their families will be represented.
Trial registration
http://www.clinicaltrials.gov, ID NCT00975338
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-12-51
PMCID: PMC3496583  PMID: 22587415
Transitions; Youth; Complex chronic conditions; Disability; Rehabilitation; Study protocol; Research methods
7.  Factors associated with discharge destination from acute care after acquired brain injury in Ontario, Canada 
BMC Neurology  2012;12:16.
Background
The aim of this paper is to examine factors associated with discharge destination after acquired brain injury in a publicly insured population using the Anderson Behavioral Model as a framework.
Methods
We utilized a retrospective cohort design. Inpatient data from provincial acute care records from fiscal years 2003/4 to 2006/7 with a diagnostic code of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and non-traumatic brain injury (nTBI) in Ontario, Canada were obtained for the study. Using multinomial logistic regression models, we examined predisposing, need and enabling factors from inpatient records in relation to major discharge outcomes such as discharge to home, inpatient rehabilitation and other institutionalized care.
Results
Multinomial logistic regression revealed that need factors were strongly correlated with discharge destinations overall. Higher scores on the Charlson Comorbidity Index were associated with discharge to other institutionalized care in the nTBI population. Length of stay and special care days were identified as markers for severity and were both strongly positively correlated with discharge to other institutionalized care and inpatient rehabilitation, compared to discharge home, in both nTBI and TBI populations. Injury by motor vehicle collisions was found to be positively correlated with discharge to inpatient rehabilitation and other institutionalized care for patients with TBI. Controlling for need factors, rural location was associated with discharge to home versus inpatient rehabilitation.
Conclusions
These findings show that need factors (Charlson Comorbidity Index, length of stay, and number of special care days) are most significant in terms of discharge destination. However, there is evidence that other factors such as rural location and access to supplemental insurance (e.g., through motor vehicle insurance) may influence discharge destination outcomes as well. These findings should be considered in creating more equitable access to healthcare services across the continuum of care.
doi:10.1186/1471-2377-12-16
PMCID: PMC3402989  PMID: 22443681

Results 1-7 (7)