Transitional community rehabilitaiton for brain injury in Queensland

A dedicated transitional rehabilitation program for acquired brain injury (ABI). A pilot project currently underway is offering an immediate post-discharge specialist ABI community rehabilitation program that has not existed in Queensland before. The model of care involves closely working with the discharging sub-acute inpatient rehabiltiation team to facilitate the transition from hospital to home, providing integration of services across the continuum and aiming to impact length of inpatient stay (potential for early discharge and influencing flow and throughput for the sub-acute rehabilitaiton unit).

The model of care comprises an intensive, individualised, goal-directed program using an interdisciplinary, family-centric approach. Allied health practioners use a robust interdisciplinary goal setting method to ensure team activities are streamlined, and efficiently coordinated for the duration of the 12-week program.

The model includes individual and group therapy, to include the benefits of peer learning. Rehabilitation medicine is integrated within the service. This means the decisions regarding  areas such as driving, return to work, and capacity are expedited, with direct, timely communicaiton back to the therapy team, who can then directly progress rehabilitation in these areas.

Notably, accommodation to house families from regional/rural Queensland is available, so this program is accessible to people with brian injury who usually reside in those parts of Queensland.

Why the contribution is important

The sequelae of acquired brain injnury are broad, enscompassing changes to physical, cognitive, behavioural, social and emotional functioning. Such changes in function have been shown to affect indpendence at home and in the community, return to work and driving, family relationships and quality of life. Loss of roles and valued activities after injury may further contribute to increased rates of psychological distress and social isolation.

The transition from hospital into the community, encompassing pre-discharge planning and the first few months after discharge, has been identified as a critical phase of ABI rehabilitaiton. Early research findings of the pilot ptogram above supports the efficacy of a specialised, intensive, community-based goal-direct model of care for severe ABI. Specific areas of improvement include maximising functional independence, optimising community integration, preventing secondary psychosocial decline on both people with ABI and their families, facilitating opportunities to engage in maningful activities such as return to work/study leisure. Quantitative and qualitative findings also support the place of such a transitional rehabilitation program in the rehabilitation continuum in Queensland.

by AKennedy on May 31, 2019 at 09:57AM

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