U of O
The Center on Brain Injury
Research & Training

GPS-TBI: Generalizing Problem Solving Strategies to Everyday Environments Following TBI

Funded by:

US Department of Education—National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research

Project Period:

October 1, 2012 – September 30, 2015

Project Contact:

Laurie Ehlhardt Powell, Ph.D.

lpowell@uoregon.edu

541-346-0572

Project Director/Principal Investigator:

Laurie Ehlhardt Powell, Ph.D.

lpowell@uoregon.edu

541-346-0572

Co-Investigator:

Ann Glang, Ph.D. aglang@uoregon.edu 541-346-0594
Debbie Ettel, Ph.D. dettel@uoregon.edu 541-346-0583

Research Team:

Bonnie Todis, Ph.D.

bonniet@uoregon.edu

541-346-0595

Debbie Ettel, Ph.D.

dettel@uoregon.edu

541-346-0583

Description:

Cognitive impairments, strongly linked to reduced independence and community integration, are one of the most debilitating consequences of traumatic brain injury (TBI).  Systematically trained cognitive strategies—particularly problem solving strategies—offer a consistent means of responding to the myriad, often unpredictable breakdowns resulting from these impairments.  However, due to limited funding for rehabilitation services, persons with TBI rarely receive the training needed to learn and generalize such strategies to their everyday lives.  To address this need, we will develop and experimentally evaluate the GPS-TBI: Generalizing Problem Solving Strategies to Everyday Environments Following TBI program. The three-stage process will include: (a) GPS–Acquisition: The client and coach (rehabilitation staff) select the most relevant types of problems to address. The client then participates in an on-line training program to learn an evidence-based problem solving strategy sequence; (b) GPS–Adaptation: The client uses a customizedmobile application to support generalized use of the problem solving strategy sequence in everyday life; and (c) GPS–Follow Up: The client and coach meet for follow up sessions to assess the day-to-day impact of the mobile application and to modify the program, as needed.

As a development project, GPS-TBI will employ rigorous qualitative and quantitative experimental methodologies to develop and evaluate program content and implementation. Phase 1—Program Development and Usability Testing: We will conduct focus groups, structured interviews and usability testing with individuals with TBI, their family members, and professionals to inform the development of the GPS-TBI prototype. Phase 2—Program Evaluation: We will conduct single case and group experimental studies to evaluate the impact of the GPS-TBI. Phase 3—Program Refinement and Dissemination: We will refine then freely disseminate the program through our website at the Center on Brain Injury Research and Training and our national network of collaborating partners (www.brainline.org). GPS-TBI will address the growing need for accessible, evidence-based interventions for persons with TBI.