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Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy:
doi: 10.1097/NPT.0b013e31821763c7
REVIEWS: Departments: Reviews

Website Review: Center for Outcome Measurement in Brain Injury (www.tbims.org/combi )

Nirider, Coby D. PT, DPT

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Area Director of Therapy Services, Touchstone Neurorecovery Center, Conroe, Texas

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OVERVIEW

The Center for Outcome Measurement in Brain Injury (COMBI)1 emerged in 1998 as an international resource for both researchers and clinicians in the field of brain injury rehabilitation. The goal of this public resource is to provide detailed information on many of the outcome measures that are currently relevant in brain injury rehabilitation. Fifteen traumatic brain injury model systems, as well as one facility outside the Model System, contribute the outcome measures they use and ongoing support to this project. The web site has a simple structure that is easy to navigate. The main page contains a Featured Scales Page, a background page, a link to the organization's biannual newsletter Outcome Oriented, and a bulletin board.

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Featured Scales Page

The Featured Scales page houses an alphabetical listing of outcome measures ranging from the Agitated Behavior Scale to the Supervision Rating Scale. A total of 31 outcome measures are detailed, and although it is not an exhaustive list, there are a variety of body structure/function, activity, and participation-level measures. Each scale is listed on this main page with a brief description and a link to its individual page.

Pages associated with the individual outcome measures provide concise details of the outcome measure and, when applicable, offers the reader:

* An introduction to the tool's purpose and development history

* Current rating forms (downloadable)

* A Frequently Asked Questions page

* Training and testing information

* Psychometric properties

* References

* A link to a Bulletin Board Forum

Two of the more important features of each outcome measure, its properties and references, are detailed, thorough, and current. The vast majority of the tools, their forms, and testing materials are downloadable; however, some remain proprietary. In all cases, users have 2 means of obtaining more information about the tools. Contact information for a lead investigator, tool author, proprietor, or institutional representative is listed for each tool. A moderated bulletin board forum is also available for each tool on which users can post questions about the use of that particular outcome measure.

This website is maintained by Jerry Wright, clinical research manager at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center's Rehabilitation Research Center since 1998. According to Mr Wright, the website's content is updated frequently, the most recent of which occurred the day of this review (December 22, 2010). Details regarding content updates are not specified on the site.

The COMBI site's ease of use, depth of content, and frequency of update make it a valuable resource with unquestionable clinical applicability. A wide variety of users can take unique advantage of the content of this web site, including clinicians, researchers, educators, and students.

Coby D. Nirider, PT, DPT

Area Director of Therapy Services

Touchstone Neurorecovery Center, Conroe, Texas

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REFERENCE

1. Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (2006). The Center for Outcome Measurement in Brain Injury. http://www.tbims.org/combi. Published 2006. Accessed December 22, 2010.

© 2011 Neurology Section, APTA

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