The Southeastern Michigan Traumatic Brain Injury System (SEMTBIS) is a program of research that studies a variety of topics related to traumatic brain injury (TBI). The SEMTBIS studies TBI treatment, recovery, and health outcomes. Day to day research activities are conducted at the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan (RIM), but the project has strong ties with Wayne State University and the larger hospital network of the Detroit Medical Center.

At the SEMTBIS we are involved in local projects here at Wayne State University's School of Medicine as well as collaborative research efforts conducted across the country. Additionally, the SEMTBIS continues to participate in longitudinal data collection that is submitted four times per year to the TBI Model System National Database. The SEMTBIS is proud to share that we have been collecting data for this project for 30 years. Our research findings are shared with persons with TBI, families, caregivers, and health care professionals locally, nationally, and internationally.

Local and Collaborative Research Projects

The Efficacy of a Group Intervention to Develop Resilience in Family Members of Individuals with TBI

The primary objective of this study is to determine the efficacy of a manualized group intervention to develop resilience and social support in family members of persons with TBI.  A randomized controlled trial (RCT) with three groups will be compared, with the central premise being that building resilience and social support is necessary and possible in family members to aid their coping and engagement, for themselves and the person with TBI.

The Menopause Transition in Women with Traumatic Brain Injury

This collaborative multi-disciplinary project examines the experience of menopause symptoms during menopause in women with TBI and whether this experience differs from women without TBI. The study consists of five phases, with the overall goal of characterizing menopause in the women with TBI. The long term goal of this project is to help guide intervention strategies and maximize overall health and well-being.

Return to Driving after Moderate-Severe TBI: Who, When, Where and How Safe?

Return to driving is a goal for almost every person experiencing TBI.  Return to driving after TBI is associated with employment, greater social activity, and higher satisfaction with life.  Cognitive deficits present a greater challenge for return to driving than physical deficits in many cases.  However, the threshold for recovery that allows safe return to driving is uncertain.  A better understanding of who returns to driving following moderate-severe TBI, what evaluations (if any) were completed prior to driving, patterns of driving, and the risks involved would aid TBI survivors, family members, and health care providers in determining when, and if, return to driving is a reasonable step.  With a potential sampling of thousands of people with TBI, the TBIMS National Database offers a unique opportunity to explore these issues.

Characterization and Treatment of Chronic Pain after Moderate to Severe Traumatic Brain Injury

The goal of this TBIMS collaborative study is to examine chronic pain and pain treatment after moderate to severe TBI in order to improve the health and function of these individuals, which through improved patient stratification and treatment guidelines, could lead to improved participation and employment.  The specific aims of this study are: 1) Determine chronic pain classification, prevalence, location, duration, and associations with demographic, injury severity, current level of functioning, and comorbidities in participants followed in the TBIMS National Database; 2)  Identify and compare chronic pain extreme phenotype characteristics across two outcomes – impact of chronic pain on daily life and overall perceptions of improvement; and 3) Identify treatment practices by clinicians who treat comorbid TBI and chronic pain to determine gaps in availability/accessibility of multidisciplinary pain treatment, highlighting underserved populations where applicable.

BeHealthy: Chronic Disease Management for TBI

This project will produce new knowledge and information to address current evidence gaps in the management of brain injury as a chronic health condition and, in so doing, will help optimize health, function, and community integration after traumatic brain injury (TBI). The primary output of this project will be a chronic disease management (CDM) model for people with TBI, their caregivers, and health care providers. The project will develop this model from a foundational evidence base and refine it using feasibility testing. The project will also generate information and propose policy that will allow implementation. Long-term outcomes of this work will be decreased mortality and improved health, function, and quality of life for people with TBI through (1) prevention and/or reduction in the rates of new onset co-morbid disease and disability after TBI, (2) extended rehabilitation services that better integrate with community-based supports, and (3) creation of evidence-based recommendations for healthy longevity.