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Study Describes TBI Caregiver QOL Measurement System

Five new item banks developed to assess health-related quality for traumatic brain injury caregivers

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THURSDAY, May 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A new tool, the Traumatic Brain Injury Caregiver Quality of Life (TBI-CareQOL), combines five new measures and 10 existing measures and can identify health-related quality of life (HRQOL) among caregivers of individuals with TBI, according to a study published in the April issue of the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Noelle E. Carlozzi, Ph.D., from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues developed and refined new item pools using literature review, qualitative data from focus groups, and cognitive debriefing with 560 caregivers of 344 civilians and 216 service members/veterans with TBI. Using an online data capture system, existing item banks and new item pools were assessed.

The researchers found that the development of five new item banks was supported by exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis, item response therapy, and differential item functioning analyses. The new item banks were Feelings of Loss-Self, Feelings of Loss-Person with TBI, Caregiver-Specific Anxiety, Feeling Trapped, and Caregiver Strain. Significantly worse HRQOL was reported for individuals caring for low-functioning patients with TBI versus those with high-functioning TBI with the new caregiver-specific HRQOL measures and for the 10 existing measures.

"We hope that in addition to the TBI-CareQOL being used for research, clinicians will adopt these measures to screen caregivers during office visits by patients with TBI, and figure out who needs additional services," Carlozzi said in a statement.

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