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Achieving Optimal Functional Outcomes in Community-Based Rehabilitation following Acquired Brain Injury: a Qualitative Investigation of Therapists' Perspectives

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The aim of this study was to explore therapists' opinions about the rehabilitation approaches that they perceived contributed to positive outcomes for people with acquired brain injury in community-based rehabilitation settings in order to develop a set of practice principles for clinicians working in this area. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight Australian and three British therapists, with a mean of 5.2 years' experience of working with people with acquired brain injury in community-based rehabilitation settings. The interviews were analysed thematically. A summary of the themes was presented to a larger group of acquired brain injury service providers (n = 35) for validation.

The participants emphasised the importance of environmental factors, such as collaboration with and inclusion of others in rehabilitation, especially those in the person's support network. Strategy use, client-centred goal setting, the provision of education and the development of a therapeutic relationship were identified as facilitators in community-based rehabilitation. Problems with self-awareness and motivation, drug and alcohol use, and behavioural difficulties were commonly identified barriers to optimal outcomes. The key practice principles derived from the findings were the need for community-based rehabilitation for people with acquired brain injury to be (1) environment focused and contextually appropriate, (2) collaborative and (3) goal directed and client centred.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2008

More about this publication?
  • The British Journal of Occupational Therapy (BJOT) is the official journal of the College of Occupational Therapists. Its purpose is to publish articles relevant to theory, practice, research, education and management in occupational therapy internationally.

    BJOT publishes research articles, critical reviews, practice analyses, opinion pieces, editorials, letters to the editor, book reviews and an annual index. Please refer to the author's guide at http://www.cot.co.uk/british-journal-bjot/british-journal-occupational-therapy

    Submissions can be made at http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/bjot

    The 2013 Impact Factor for The British Journal of Occupational Therapy is 0.897.

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