Traumatic Brain Injury: Use of ‘Apps’ to Enhance Function in the Community

James Bardy

Purpose: Apps are gaining popularity in being utilized as a compensatory tool for survivors of traumatic brain injury (TBI), but there is limited research that explores their effectiveness on improving function.

Methods: Three community-based participants, diagnosed with TBI, were selected to identify areas of their instrumental activities of daily living (iADL) that they wished to improve upon. A specific smart phone app was selected and a 6 week trial was conducted with each participant using their app, with coaching from a life skills worker. Qualitative interviews were used to record the participant’s experience and a quantitative assessment tool was used to score pre and post satisfaction and performance in a selected iADL.

Findings: A well designed app helped improve participant’s satisfaction and performance in medication management.

Conclusion: Apps, with adequate training, have the potential to help a survivor of TBI become more independent in their iADLs.