MRFF Research Grant – 2020 MRFF Traumatic Brain Injury Mission

Grant Duration: 4 years

Administering Institution: University of Tasmania

This proposal is a multidisciplinary approach, which leverages our team’s expertise in assessing community knowledge of neurological conditions, and provision of community education, to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals living with traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Mobilising our nationwide team, located throughout Australia, and existing partnerships including brain injury associations and Aboriginal community centres, we will assess current Australian awareness of TBI. Concurrently we will consult with individuals living with TBI (sustained through a variety of mechanisms, and different severities i.e. mild, moderate and severe) and their family/carers, to identify potential barriers and support needs including community attitudes, lack of enabling environments/systems, and poor access to rehabilitation which may be leading to poor outcomes.

Together this process will allow for the refinement of educational programs to include information to address knowledge deficits of the general public as well as additional target markets for educational programs. One approach for educational programs to reach a diverse population throughout Australia, is the use of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). MOOCs have proven to be a useful and engaging platform to share dementia educate with participants.

Members of the CI team have a wealth of experience in developing dementia MOOCs and have recently designed the Understanding TBI MOOC to improve awareness of TBI, which can also be used as an educational tool for those with TBI (especially mild TBI who may not have accessed rehabilitation) and carers/those working with individuals with TBI.

The efficacy of our existing educational programs will be tested via previously validated TBI knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs tools. This approach will garner a cost-effective, self-sustaining product to improve the health and wellbeing of people with TBI.