A Randomized Trial of Teen Online Problem Solving: Efficacy in Improving Caregiver Outcomes After Brain Injury

Health Psychology (Impact Factor: 3.59). 07/2012; 31(6). DOI: 10.1037/a0028440
Source: PubMed


To examine the results of a randomized clinical trial (RCT) of Teen Online Problem Solving (TOPS), an online problem solving therapy model, in increasing problem-solving skills and decreasing depressive symptoms and global distress for caregivers of adolescents with traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Families of adolescents aged 11-18 who sustained a moderate to severe TBI between 3 and 19 months earlier were recruited from hospital trauma registries. Participants were assigned to receive a web-based, problem-solving intervention (TOPS, n = 20), or access to online resources pertaining to TBI (Internet Resource Comparison; IRC; n = 21). Parent report of problem solving skills, depressive symptoms, global distress, utilization, and satisfaction were assessed pre- and posttreatment. Groups were compared on follow-up scores after controlling for pretreatment levels. Family income was examined as a potential moderator of treatment efficacy. Improvement in problem solving was examined as a mediator of reductions in depression and distress.

Forty-one participants provided consent and completed baseline assessments, with follow-up assessments completed on 35 participants (16 TOPS and 19 IRC). Parents in both groups reported a high level of satisfaction with both interventions. Improvements in problem solving skills and depression were moderated by family income, with caregivers of lower income in TOPS reporting greater improvements. Increases in problem solving partially mediated reductions in global distress.

Findings suggest that TOPS may be effective in improving problem solving skills and reducing depressive symptoms for certain subsets of caregivers in families of adolescents with TBI.

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Available from: JoAnne Cochrane Carey, Sep 10, 2014
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