The Use of Memory Notebooks to Improve Daily Functions After A Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

The Use of Memory Notebooks to Improve Daily Functions After A Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)


Name: Brittany Allen


Presenter/Poster: Accepted - no presentation due to COVID19 response

Year: 2020


Description of the Problem: Interventions to improve memory function is an important part of rehabilitation following a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Memory notebooks, calendars, to-do list, phone numbers and pictures can facilitate and improve memory function. On a surgical trauma unit nurses and staff reported there were no supplies to improve memory function to provide their TBI patients.

PICOT Question: On a Surgical Trauma ward (4W) does a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Memory Notebook improve daily functions for patients with TBI? Background: Evidence has demonstrated that cognitive impairment associated with TBI not only includes memory impairment but also poor concentration, poor planning skills, and difficulties with processing information. Assistive technology for cognition (ATC) can be used to facilitate and support memory impairment such as forgetting appointments as well as the inability to retain information. ATC’s include memory notebooks, calendars, to-do lists, pictures, phone numbers, maps, voice recorders, pagers, or electronic devices.

Methods: Using the IOWA model, a focused question was developed and a literature review was completed. An Auxiliary grant awarded our ward money to purchase supplies to include Notebooks, calendar, to-do lists, favorite activity lists, TBI daily checklist, personal pictures, and a journal section. TBI Memory Notebooks were put together and staff were in-serviced on the different sections of the Notebook. TBI patients and their families will use the Notebooks while they are inpatient and will take the book home with them when discharged. Their Memory Notebook can be used for future appointments. A survey was developed and will be collected from patients at time of discharge.

Project Findings: During the timeframe of December 5, 2019 to January 16, 2020, 4 TBI patients received Memory Notebook on our ward. Results indicated that all patients strongly agreed the Notebooks helped patients with showing up on time and not forgetting appointments, the calendar helped orient them to what day it was, and the to-do list assisted them with making a list of tasks to be done. Survey comments demonstrated Memory Notebook enhanced the patient experience. Implications for Military Nursing: Memory Notebooks will help cue patients suffering with a TBI to improve memory impairments.