A Web-Based Service Delivery Model for Communication Training After Brain Injury: Protocol for a Mixed Methods, Prospective, Hybrid Type 2 Implementation-Effectiveness Study.

JMIR Publications Inc.
Publication Type:
Journal Article
JMIR research protocols, 2021, 10, (12), pp. e31995
Issue Date:
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Acquired brain injuries (ABIs) commonly cause cognitive-communication disorders, which can have a pervasive psychosocial impact on a person's life. More than 135 million people worldwide currently live with ABI, and this large and growing burden is increasingly surpassing global rehabilitation service capacity. A web-based service delivery model may offer a scalable solution. The Social Brain Toolkit is an evidence-based suite of 3 web-based communication training interventions for people with ABI and their communication partners. Successful real-world delivery of web-based interventions such as the Social Brain Toolkit requires investigation of intervention implementation in addition to efficacy and effectiveness.


The aim of this study is to investigate the implementation and effectiveness of the Social Brain Toolkit as a web-based service delivery model.


This is a mixed methods, prospective, hybrid type 2 implementation-effectiveness study, theoretically underpinned by the Nonadoption, Abandonment, Scale-up, Spread, and Sustainability (NASSS) framework of digital health implementation. We will document implementation strategies preemptively deployed to support the launch of the Social Brain Toolkit interventions, as well as implementation strategies identified by end users through formative evaluation of the Social Brain Toolkit. We will prospectively observe implementation outcomes, selected on the basis of the NASSS framework, through quantitative web analytics of intervention use, qualitative and quantitative pre- and postintervention survey data from all users within a specified sample frame, and qualitative interviews with a subset of users of each intervention. Qualitative implementation data will be deductively analyzed against the NASSS framework. Quantitative implementation data will be analyzed descriptively. We will obtain effectiveness outcomes through web-based knowledge tests, custom user questionnaires, and formal clinical tools. Quantitative effectiveness outcomes will be analyzed through descriptive statistics and the Reliable Change Index, with repeated analysis of variance (pretraining, posttraining, and follow-up), to determine whether there is any significant improvement within this participant sample.


Data collection commenced on July 2, 2021, and is expected to conclude on June 1, 2022, after a 6-month sample frame of analytics for each Social Brain Toolkit intervention. Data analysis will occur concurrently with data collection until mid-2022, with results expected for publication late 2022 and early 2023.


End-user evaluation of the Social Brain Toolkit's implementation can guide intervention development and implementation to reach and meet community needs in a feasible, scalable, sustainable, and acceptable manner. End user feedback will be directly incorporated and addressed wherever possible in the next version of the Social Brain Toolkit. Learnings from these findings will benefit the implementation of this and future web-based psychosocial interventions for people with ABI and other populations.

Trial registration

Australia and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12621001170819; https://anzctr.org.au/Trial/Registration/TrialReview.aspx?ACTRN=12621001170819, Australia and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12621001177842; https://anzctr.org.au/Trial/Registration/TrialReview.aspx?ACTRN=12621001177842, Australia and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12621001180808; https://anzctr.org.au/Trial/Registration/TrialReview.aspx?ACTRN=12621001180808.

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