Teen Online Problem Solving for Teens With Traumatic Brain Injury: Rationale, Methods, and Preliminary Feasibility of a Teen Only Intervention

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Purpose/Objective: To describe the Teen Online Problem Solving—Teen Only (TOPS-TO) intervention relative to the original Teen Online Problem Solving—Family (TOPS-F) intervention, to describe a randomized controlled trial to assess intervention efficacy, and to report feasibility and acceptability of the TOPS-TO intervention. Research method and design: This is a multisite randomized controlled trial, including 152 teens (49 TOPS-F, 51 TOPS-TO, 52 IRC) between the ages of 11–18 who were hospitalized for a moderate to severe traumatic brain injury in the previous 18 months. Assessments were completed at baseline, 6-months post baseline, and 12-months post baseline. Data discussed include adherence and satisfaction data collected at the 6-month assessment (treatment completion) for TOPS-F and TOPS-TO. Results: Adherence measures (sessions completed, dropout rates, duration of treatment engagement, and rates of program completion) were similar across treatment groups. Overall, teen and parent reported satisfaction was high and similar across groups. Teens spent a similar amount of time on the TOPS website across groups, and parents in the TOPS-F spent more time on the TOPS website than those in the TOPS-TO group (p = .002). Parents in the TOPS-F group rated the TOPS website as more helpful than those in the TOPS-TO group (p = .05). Conclusions/Implications: TOPS-TO intervention is a feasible and acceptable intervention approach. Parents may perceive greater benefit from the family based intervention. Further examination is required to understand the comparative efficacy in improving child and family outcomes, and who is likely to benefit from each approach.

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