Efficacy of BETTER transitional care intervention for diverse patients with traumatic brain injury and their families: Study protocol of a randomized controlled trial

Tolu O. Oyesanya*, Stephanie O. Ibemere, Hyun Bin You, Maralis Mercado Emerson, Wei Pan, Anushka Palipana, Melissa Kandel, Darius Ingram, Mayra Soto, Anne Pioppo, Brittany Albert, Tamia Walker-Atwater, Jodi Hawes, Jordan Komisarow, Katherine Ramos, Lindsey Byom, Rosa Gonzalez-Guarda, Courtney H. Van Houtven, Suresh Agarwal, Janet Prvu Bettger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective The purpose of this study is to examine the efficacy of BETTER (Brain Injury, Education, Training, and Therapy to Enhance Recovery) vs. usual transitional care management among diverse adults with traumatic brain injury (TBI) discharged home from acute hospital care and families. Methods This will be a single-site, two-arm, randomized controlled trial (N = 436 people, 218 patient/family dyads, 109 dyads per arm) of BETTER, a culturally- and linguistically-tailored, patient- and family-centered, TBI transitional care intervention for adult patients with TBI and families. Skilled clinical interventionists will follow a manualized protocol to address patient/family needs. The interventionists will co-establish goals with participants; coordinate post-hospital care, services, and resources; and provide patient/family education and training on self- and family-management and coping skills for 16 weeks following hospital discharge. English- and Spanish-speaking adult patients with mild-to-severe TBI who are discharged directly home from the hospital without inpatient rehabilitation or transfer to other settings (community discharge) and associated family caregivers are eligible and will be randomized to treatment or usual transitional care management. We will use intention-to-treat analysis to determine if patients receiving BETTER have a higher quality of life (primary outcome, SF-36) at 16-weeks post-hospital discharge than those receiving usual transitional care management. We will conduct a descriptive, qualitative study with 45 dyads randomized to BETTER, using semi-structured interviews, to capture perspectives on barriers and facilitators to participation. Data will be analyzed using conventional content analysis. Finally, we will conduct a cost/budget impact analysis, evaluating differences in intervention costs and healthcare costs by arm. Discussion Findings will guide our team in designing a future, multi-site trial to disseminate and implement BETTER into clinical practice to enhance the standard of care for adults with TBI and families. The new knowledge generated will drive advancements in health equity among diverse adults with TBI and families.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0296083
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number2 February
StatePublished - Feb 2024
Externally publishedYes


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