Assistant Professor, Department of Exercise and Sport Science.
Jason Mihalik completed his graduate work in Sports Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Jason is a neurotrauma researcher, with an emphasis on biomechanics related to sports ... MORE
Assistant Professor Cecilia I. Roscigno, RN PhD CNRN, of the UNC School of Nursing, presents a new seminar on her novel research into children’s TBI entitled “Actively Listening to Children and Parents of Moderate to Severe Traumatic Brain Injury: Stepping Back to Move Forward.” You can find the video on YouTube.
Children’s moderate to severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) continues to be the leading cause of mortality and morbidity amongst children in the United States. The chronic and heterogeneous effects of TBI on a child or young adult are an important long-term factor affecting the family’s functioning and well-being. Yet, limited research is available that also evaluates what factors within the family’s social environments are perceived to affect the family’s emotional adjustment, recovery, community reintegration, and well-being post injury. Children and their parents can both affect and be affected by the nested and multi-layered social environments, which they live and interact within (their extended family, friends, healthcare system, school, church, neighborhood, parent’s workplace, community, and the culture).
Cecelia’s research program first began by acknowledging that the families who experience children’s TBI have important insights that can only be gained through their lived experiences. She chose a qualitative methodology, descriptive phenomenology, which positioned the family’s expertise in the forefront of clinicians’ or researchers’ expertise. The experiences of these families were collected by interviewing children with moderate to severe TBI (N = 39) and their parent(s) (N = 42) from across the United States in two separate interviews each.
Cecelia has been using novel qualitative research approaches to uncover social and cultural factors that are also perceived to shape the family’s experiences and meanings. Her research has highlighted key points in time where community providers can improve the information and affective support that is provided to families such as: a) the culture of early acute care information-sharing, decision-making, and prognostic discussions; b) relevant informational support when the family is returning to home; and c) assistance for school reintegration and the child’s long-term individualized learning needs and social support.
These research findings support the notion of expanding the limited lens from which family research following TBI has been focused (how the child’s impairments affect the family or how the family’s parenting or coping affects the child). She is now advocating for the inclusion of broader social factors beyond the child and family in future research because these social factors also influence the family’s experiences and meaning. She is also advocating for a family resiliency lens in future research and interventions, so that providers, policy makers, and researchers can build upon the strengths of each family. Cecelia is currently proposing a research study to conduct a mixed-method mixed research synthesis of the published research literature evaluating the intersection of children’s TBI on the family. Her long-term goal is to identify important intervention strategies that will support families following children’s TBI and be relevant to their immediate and long-term needs.
of the newly established “The Trust,” which will provide comprehensive medical care for former NFL players with chronic medical issues, including those that may be related to repeated concussions.
This statewide evaluation will provide information on the effectiveness of the The Period of PURPLE Crying® parent education and media programs in preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome.MORE
This study examines the effectiveness of hyperbaric oxygen therapy on recovery time in young athletes suffering from sport-related traumatic brain injury.MORE
This project establishes the linear and rotational accelerations associated with head trauma in women’s ice hockey, using telemetry helmet-based systems.MORE
UNC is a leading research institution focused on the prevention, evaluation, and treatment of sport-related concussion. Our research has influenced policy or rule changes regarding concussion prevention and management for the National Federation of State High School Associations, National Collegiate Athletic Association, and National Football League.
In June 2011, North Carolina became the 21st state to pass a concussion law — The Gfeller-Waller Concussion Act — named after two high school players who had died in 2008 as a result of football related head trauma. Our researchers helped guide the legislative committee that introduced and shepherded the bill through the legislative process. Since that time, our research team has assisted representatives from several other states in developing their concussion law.
Over the past 5 years, our research team has published over 50 peer-reviewed articles (a selection of these publications are provided on the publications list) on the topic of sport concussion. Our research team has used innovative technologies to better understand the biomechanics of concussion and how these technologies can be used to modify behavior and ultimately prevent concussion.
In 2011, Dr. Kevin Guskiewicz won a MacArthur Fellowship for his concussion research. In 2013, Time Magazine described our work as “game changing” in the way society now thinks about sport concussion.
In addition to our work on sports-related concussion, the IPRC has also undertaken a seminal study on abusive head trauma in infants and young children which is described below.
The Mission of the Matthew Gfeller Center is to improve the prevention, evaluation, management, and rehabilitation of sport-related traumatic brain injuries through research, education, and clinical practice. The Matthew Gfeller Center guides clinicians and others to better manage sport-related concussions and traumatic brain injury. Read Matthew’s story here.
The Center for the Study of Retired Athletes (CSRA) is closely associated with the IPRC. The primary goals of the CSRA are to collect epidemiological data on retired professional athletes and to provide medical care for select retirees in a research setting. The Center’s research is conducted in cooperation with nationally recognized researchers and clinicians who provide expertise in a number of disciplines including: cardiology, nutrition/exercise physiology, neuropsychology/ neurosurgery, psychiatry/ psychology, orthopedics, geriatrics/ gerontology, epidemiology, clinical athletic training/ physical therapy and applied biomechanics.
The Brain Injury Association of North Carolina has resources on TBI from a financial and a social perspective, and advice on TBI in and our current health care system.
Complete information on North Carolina’s Gfeller-Waller Concussion Awareness Act, including implications and considerations for high schools sports programs.