Our Blog

Internet may be used to assess TBI victims’ skills

On behalf of Pazer, Epstein, Jaffe & Fein, P.C. posted in Brain Injury on Wednesday, April 1, 2015.

Traumatic brain injury victims suffer a myriad of functional deficits that may diminish their ability to perform everyday tasks that others take for granted. Currently, there are insufficient methods that can assess functional status of TBI victims during their recovery. The currently-available methods rely on outdated technology, are not practical and rely on subjective self-reporting from those who suffered this head injury.

Kessler Foundation researchers, however, have conducted a study using Actual Reality technology such as the internet and PDEs to assess everyday life activities among TBI victims. Recently, the first study on the use of Actual Reality for assessing the performance of everyday tasks by persons with TBI . was conducted.

In the study, 10 TBI victims were compared with 10 other control individuals who do not have TBI. The participants were assessed for their ability to perform the Actual Reality task of using the internet to purchase cookies for a birthday party. In addition to quality of life, testing was performed on their functional status and affect symptomatology. The study also looked into their earlier experiences using the internet.

Performing tasks on the internet was more difficult with the 10 participants with TBI. Cognitive impairment was related to their functional disability, according to the study.

This initial study indicated that actual reality can be utilized for revealing the ability of persons with TBI to perform everyday functional tasks. However, a visiting scientist at the Kessler Foundation stated that more studies are needed to determine the effect of internet-based tasks for clinical assessments of the ability of TBI victims to perform everyday activities. These studies could also aid with improving rehabilitation of people with TBI.

As this research indicates,TBI victims and their families often confront serious health, emotional, financial and quality of life issues. When another person’s negligence or recklessness caused a brain injury, prompt legal assistance should be sought to help assure that the right to compensation is preserved.