Process evaluation of 'Brains Ahead!': an intervention for children and adolescents with mild traumatic brain injury within a randomized controlled trial

M. Irene Renaud, Carina Klees, Jolanda C. M. van Haastregt, Coriene E. Catsman-Berrevoets, Ingrid G. L. van de Port, Suzanne A. M. Lambregts, Caroline M. van Heugten*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Objective: To investigate whether the ‘Brains Ahead! Intervention for children and adolescents with mild traumatic brain injury’ was implemented as intended. In addition, involvement in and satisfaction with the intervention among patients, caregivers and professionals delivering the intervention were studied.
Design: Mixed methods, prospective study.
Participants: Children with mild traumatic brain injury and their caregivers, allocated to the intervention group of the randomized controlled trial in the ‘Brains Ahead!’ study, and the two professionals providing the intervention.
Intervention: The intervention consists of a standardized and individualized psychoeducational session with written take-home information, and follow-up telephone call(s).
Main measures: Registration forms, evaluation questionnaires for patients and caregivers and semi-structured interviews for professionals.
Data analysis: Qualitative data were categorized based on content. Quantitative data were reported as descriptive statistics.
Results: Fifty-five patients and caregivers out of 60 study-participants attended both sessions. All elements of the intervention were delivered to 53 study-participants. Evaluation questionnaires were completed by 21 of the 31 patients aged 12 years and older, and by 41 caregivers. Overall, the sessions were considered useful by 19 patients, 40 caregivers and both professionals. Reassurance, creating a better understanding and recognition of symptoms were rated as important aspects. On a scale from 1 to 10, the intervention was rated by children, caregivers and professionals with 7.6 (SD 1.2), 8.1 (SD .9) and 8.0 (SD .0), respectively.
Conclusion: The ‘Brains Ahead!’ intervention was largely implemented as intended and the process evaluation revealed that it is considered feasible according to patients, caregivers and professionals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)688-697
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Rehabilitation
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2020


  • Psychoeducation
  • intervention
  • mild traumatic brain injury
  • children and adolescents
  • process evaluation

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