REACT: Reactions Event Appraisals and Context in TBI

The REACT (Reactions Events Appraisals and Context in TBI) Project has a goal to gain a deeper understanding of why individuals with chronic traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) often experience feelings of anger and aggression in response to events in their everyday lives. This project will investigate how people with TBIs express anger and aggression patterns over a two-week period. The study will also explore the connections between these emotional reactions and various factors such as the circumstances, their personal characteristics, their assessments of real-life situations and their methods of managing their emotions.

The REACT Project utilizes a method of data collection called ecological momentary assessment (EMA).EMA is like taking snapshots of someone's thoughts, feelings, and experiences in their daily life. Instead of asking them to remember everything later, researchers ask them questions or have them record things at different times during the day, like using a diary or a phone app. This helps researchers understand what a person's life is really like in real-time, which can be more accurate than asking them to remember everything later.

This research is designed to be exploratory, meaning it's like taking a first step to uncover information. The hope is that it will pave the way for future research endeavors. By understanding more about why anger and aggression occur in individuals with TBIs, we can improve the way we educate patients and their families, develop better screening methods to identify what specifically causes these emotional responses in each patient, make more informed treatment decisions, and target new approaches to achieve better outcomes. Ultimately, this research could have a positive impact on the lives of people living with chronic TBIs.

The REACT Project is led by Drs. Flora Hammond and Dawn Neumann and is a collaborative effort between Indiana University School of Medicine and four other locations: TIRR Memorial in Houston, Texas, Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Spaulding Rehabilitation in Boston, Massachusetts, and Craig Hospital in Englewood, Colorado. Additionally, individuals who have firsthand experience with TBIs are actively participating in this research project.

The TBI Model Systems is funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research.