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Polytrauma/TBI System of Care

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Polytrauma Center Database

In 2008, the Department of Veterans Affairs partnered with the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) to establish a VA-specific longitudinal multicenter study that examines the course of recovery and outcomes following inpatient rehabilitation for traumatic brain injury (TBI) within the 5 VA Polytrauma Rehabilitation Centers (PRCs). This lifetime study conducts follow-up at years 1, 2, 5, 10, and every subsequent 5 years post-injury, paralleling the legacy civilian hospital–based TBIMS funded by NIDILRR since 1987. The VA TBIMS longitudinal database is managed by the NIDILRR-funded National Data and Statistical Center (TBINDSC), located at Craig Hospital in Englewood, Colorado. The VA-NIDILRR TBIMS collaboration allows the VA PRCs to longitudinally assess the rehabilitation and functional outcomes of individuals with TBI in a manner consistent with the existing 16 NIDILRR-funded TBIMS centers specializing in TBI rehabilitation in the private sector. Building on the foundation of TBIMS, the VA has collaborated with the Department of Defense to study important aspects of TBI health care. This project titled, “Improved Understanding of Medical and Psychological Needs in Veterans and Service Members with TBI" (IMaP), will examine (1) long-term physical and mental health effects, (2) impact of comorbid health conditions on recovery, and (3) chronic rehabilitation needs including accessibility of needed services. Through thes collaborations, VA continues to define the unique needs of Veterans with TBI and translate findings into policy to continuously improve care. 

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