Rehabilitation for children with chronic acquired brain injury in the Child in Context Intervention (CICI) study: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial
Rohrer-Baumgartner, Nina; Holthe, Ingvil Laberg; Svendsen, Edel Jannecke; Røe, Cecilie; Egeland, Jens; Borgen, Ida Maria Henriksen; Hauger, Solveig Lægreid; Forslund, Marit Vindal; Brunborg, Cathrine; Øra, Hege Prag; Bragstad, Line Kildal; Killi, Eli Marie; Sandhaug, Maria; Kleffelgård, Ingerid; Strand-Saugnes, Anine; Dahl-Hilstad, Ingeborg; Ponsford, Jennie; Winter, Laraine; Wade, Shari L.; Løvstad, Marianne; Hilde Margrete, Dahl
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Background: Pediatric acquired brain injury (pABI) is associated with long-term cognitive, behavioral, social, and emotional problems, which may affect the quality of life, school, and family functioning. Yet, there is a lack of evidence-based community-centered rehabilitation programs for chronic pABI and these children do not systematically receive comprehensive rehabilitation. The Child In Context Intervention (CICI) study is a pragmatic randomized controlled trial (RCT) for children with chronic pABI, which aims to evaluate the effectiveness of an individualized and goal-oriented intervention targeting everyday functioning of the child and family. Methods: Children aged 6–16 years with MRI/CT-verified intracranial abnormalities will be included in the CICI study if they have persistent self- or parent-reported cognitive, emotional, and/or behavioral challenges 1 year or more after insult and attend school regularly. A total of 70 families will be randomized 1:1 to an intervention or a control group. The intervention consists of seven family sessions, one parent seminar, and four school sessions delivered over approximately 6 months. The parent seminar will be held in person, and the other sessions will mainly be video based. The children’s and families’ self-reported major challenges in everyday life will be targeted using SMART goals. Evidence-based strategies, when available, will be applied to achieve the goals, combined with psychoeducation. Goal attainment scaling (GAS) will be used to evaluate goal attainment. Data is collected at baseline and after approximately 6 and 9 months. External assessors are blinded to group allocation. Primary outcomes are parent-reported brain injury symptoms in children and parenting self-efficacy at 9 months of follow-up. Secondary outcomes include child-reported brain injury symptoms, quality of life, executive functioning in daily life, parent emotional symptoms, family functioning, and unmet family health care needs. A process evaluation will be conducted. Discussion: The current study provides an innovative approach to rehabilitation for children in the chronic phase of ABI and their families. This complex intervention may contribute to the development of evidence-based, high-quality rehabilitation for a large patient group, which is underrepresented in clinical research. It may also improve collaboration between specialized rehabilitation facilities, schools, and local health care services. Inclusion for the trial started in April 2021.