Project Summary

With over five million Americans living with traumatic brain injury (TBI)-related disability, TBI represents a major public health issue. TBI is now recognized as a chronic condition, with lifelong health implications. Individuals with TBI have more health issues than the general population and greater need for effective health promotion to prevent secondary conditions. However, most TBI-related research is focused on identifying new knowledge regarding basic science. Insufficient time and resources have been allocated to exploring strategies aimed at assisting TBI survivors and their caregivers to negotiate long-term recovery. Improving patient outcomes and supporting long-term recovery demands the collaboration of scientists, clinicians, and those living with and caring for those with TBI.

The proposed project will advance patient-centered outcomes for adults living with moderate to severe TBI through building a national coalition of patient and stakeholder partners. Team members will work with the Coalition for Recovery and Innovation in Traumatic Brain Injury Care Across the Lifespan (CRITICAL) to develop resources for empowering individuals with cognitive impairments to collaborate on research. Second, the CRITICAL will lead the formation of a new patient-centered research agenda. The project location will be the University of Colorado Denver, Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, Colorado.

The project objectives are:

  • To establish the CRITICAL and develop its capacity to collaborate on clinical effectiveness research
  • Develop strategies and resources for engaging individuals with cognitive impairments in research
  • Develop a national research agenda for improving the lives of those living with moderate to severe TBI

Project activities will include: three in-person coalition meetings; qualitative interviews; trainings for all partners; an online survey; systematic review of research gaps; website development; and dissemination of project results via website, social media, presentations, and manuscripts. The outcomes of this effort will be:

  • A patient and stakeholder advisory committee to steer patient-centered TBI outcomes research
  • Resources and strategies for engaging those with moderate to severe TBI and associated cognitive impairments in community-based participatory research
  • A research agenda for multi-systems clinical effectiveness research for improving TBI outcomes across the lifespan

The project’s patient engagement plan is founded on a commitment to equal partnership, shared decision making, mutual learning, and trust among all patient and stakeholder partners.  The CRITICAL will also identify methods for empowering individuals with moderate to severe TBI and cognitive impairment to collaborate as equal partners in research.

Representatives from the Veterans Health Administration, the Craig Hospital Brain Injury Program, the Brain Injury Alliance of Colorado, the Colorado Brain Injury Program, and TBI Model Systems have committed to recruit patient partners, support dissemination of results, and/or participate in the coalition.

Journal Citations

Project Information

Nathaniel Mohatt, PhD, MFA
Lisa Brenner, PhD
University of Colorado Denver – Anschutz Medical Campus

Key Dates

24 months


Project Status
State State The state where the project originates, or where the primary institution or organization is located. View Glossary
Last updated: March 4, 2022