Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Scott Johnson


Brain Injuries -- rehabilitation; Caregivers


Life can be very confusing for the friends, family member(s), and caretaker(s) of those individuals who are diagnosed with a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). The people who live with and care for the individual with a TBI want to know how they can help and what they can do to speed up the recovery. They also want to know what they can expect from their loved one, how much time the recovery will take, and what is causing the changes in their behavior?

A review of the literature was conducted and professionals, who are currently providing services to individuals diagnosed with a TBI, were interviewed. It was identified that information for TBI provided to family member(s) and caregiver(s) is lacking, the caregiver(s) and family member(s) need user-friendly information and education about the effects of traumatic brain injury in the care and treatment of their loved one. Based upon these findings a Traumatic Brain Injury Caregiver and Family Education Handbook was developed.

The (TBI) Handbook is designed as a guide for caregiver(s) and family member(s) as they transition though the process of assessment and treatment of their family member who has been diagnosed with a TBI. The Handbook guides the caretaker through the rehabilitation process and offers suggestions of activities that may occur and expectations for outcomes. The Handbook includes the following information: definitions of TBI and related terms; etiology of TBI; definitions of treatment team members and how to can utilize them as resources; what differences to expect in the brain injured individual; what to expect from treatment; expectations for return to school, work, and driving; and the importance of emotional support for the family member(s) and caregiver(s).

The outcome of this scholarly project is a tool for practicing Occupational Therapists (OT), to provide to the family member(s) and caretakers of individuals diagnosed with a TBI. This will benefit the individual diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury by having activities that carryover the intervention provided by the OT in the clinic and allow the family to become more involved in understanding and meeting their needs. The handbook is based on current evidence based literature and current best practice methods. The information compiled will allow the family member(s) and caretakers to be educated and empower them to feel as though they are participating members in the individual diagnosed with a brain injury's recovery process.