Development and preliminary evaluation of a structured family system intervention for adolescents with brain injury and their families Academic Article uri icon

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  • PRIMARY OBJECTIVE: To develop and conduct a preliminary evaluation of a manualized family system intervention for adolescents with acquired brain injury (ABI). RESEARCH DESIGN: Descriptive/exploratory design using mixed methods: modified-Delphi technique, self-administered questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. METHODS AND PROCEDURES: Topic modules and content areas for the adolescent version (BIFI-A) were developed, building on topic areas from the empirically-based Brain Injury Family Intervention (BIFI) for adults. Eight adolescents with ABI, their families and three clinicians who implemented the BIFI-A participated in evaluation of the BIFI-A. Evaluation data were obtained from all participants at the end of each session and post-intervention. Content validity of the revised version was formally evaluated. MAIN OUTCOMES AND RESULTS: A seven-session curriculum, focusing on education, skill building and emotional support, was developed and tested. Clinical utility evaluation survey results indicated 81-89% mean agreement, with positive statements rating helpfulness, importance, relevance, and satisfaction with the BIFI-A. Ninety per cent of adolescent, family and clinician participants said they would recommend the intervention to families of adolescents with an ABI. Survey and qualitative findings from families and test clinicians were used to refine the BIFI-A into a 12-session curriculum. CONCLUSIONS: The findings provide evidence that BIFI-A is a promising family system intervention. Additional research is needed to determine its benefits.


  • Gan, Caron
  • Gargaro, Judith
  • Kreutzer, Jeffrey S
  • Boschen, Kathryn A
  • Wright, Virginia

publication date

  • April 2010