Clinical Trials

The Traumatic Brain Injury Model System is actively engaged in The CONNECT Trial. The current funding cycle (2012 to 2017) also includes participation in five module projects:

  • Internet use and online social participation among individuals with traumatic brain injury
  • Resilience after traumatic brain injury
  • Test-retest reliability of Traumatic Brain Injury Model System Form II measures with people with traumatic brain injury
  • Understanding causes of death in the TBI Model System (verbal autopsy)
  • Incorporating TBIMS data into the Federal Interagency TBI Research informatics system


Lack of access to specialized traumatic brain injury (TBI) care is a common need identified by individuals hospitalized for TBI. Explosive advances in communication technology have brought telemedicine to the forefront of health care.

The CONNECT Trial aims to remotely connect groups and individuals to Mayo Clinic traumatic brain injury rehabilitation specialists and to each other. This is done through using traditional methods (phone and mail) and other communication technology (internet based, email, smartphone, text, social media and Skype).

Those groups joined together by The CONNECT Trial include:

  • Individuals recently hospitalized with traumatic brain injury and their families
  • Local health care providers (primary care providers, psychologists, therapists, social service providers, job counselors)

Mayo Clinic's Traumatic Brain Injury Model System is testing the extent to which partnership with local providers for TBI-related assessment and treatment is feasible, effective and satisfying for everyone involved. Assessment is also being done to provide TBI-specific education, consultation on management of common problems, and coordination of care to promote recovery and the return to work, school and family life.

To that end, Mayo Clinic's TBI Model System is conducting this first-of-its-kind study in Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota. Possible research participants will be identified through collaboration with the health departments in Minnesota and Iowa, Altru Health System in North Dakota and Regional Health in South Dakota.

The team is especially interested in learning more about the possible benefit of this approach for people who live in rural areas, older adults and Native Americans, since these populations are at greater risk of traumatic brain injury and may be more isolated from specialized services.

Participants will be assigned to one of two groups — either the remote care group or to another group that is followed but receives the usual care available in the community. Individuals in both groups will complete select questionnaires, be contacted regularly to monitor their recovery and use of health care and other services, and will receive research payment for their time in the study.

The long-term outcome of this study is intended to reduce barriers to accessing specialized traumatic brain injury rehabilitation care faced by individuals and their families.

Mayo Clinic's Traumatic Brain Injury Model System is proud to be partnering with the Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation and Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media on this project.