PI(s): Lenore Hawley, MSSW, LCSW, CBIST; Lisa Payne, PhD; and Don Gerber, PsyD
Funded by: National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research
Contact: Lenore Hawley firstname.lastname@example.org 303 789 8570
The purpose of this proposed project is to evaluate the efficacy of a novel, replicable, structured intervention facilitating altruistic volunteer activity to improve psychological well-being in individuals with TBI. Individuals post-TBI are often unable to return to meaningful productive activity due to the cognitive, emotional and social sequelae of the injury, and experience decreased well-being as measured by satisfaction with life and emotional distress. Volunteer work has been shown to increase well-being in the general population, but there is little evidence of this effect for individuals with TBI. Currently only one percent of those requiring inpatient rehabilitation and not working post-TBI engage in volunteer activity. The difficulties with executive function experienced by this population would suggest that some level of structure and support may be necessary for such individuals to volunteer effectively. A pilot study was conducted indicating a positive effect on well-being in this population through engagement in structured volunteer activity. This proposed clinical trial would further the investigation into this effect and provide a replicable community-based model to facilitate volunteer activity for individuals with TBI.