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Brain Inj. 2006 Aug;20(9):947-57.

Cost-benefits associated with social outcome from neurobehavioural rehabilitation.

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Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust, Birmingham, UK.



To carry out a clinical and cost-outcome evaluation of a neurobehavioural post-acute rehabilitation programme in the UK.


The study was a multi-centre prospective cohort study of adults with acquired brain injury admitted for residential rehabilitation. Comprehensive data were collected on type of residence, amount and type of care, functional independence, engagement in constructive occupation and participation in social roles.


Data were gathered on admission relating to individuals' levels of care and functioning, both pre-morbidly and at the time of admission (pre-rehabilitation). Additional information about functioning was collected upon discharge (post-rehabilitation). Follow-up data was collated in person, by telephone or by post after an average of 18 months by a researcher who was blind to the rehabilitation outcomes. The data were analysed in terms of clinical outcomes and support costs. Savings in costs of care or support were calculated on the basis of difference between pre-rehabilitation and follow-up support costs minus the costs of rehabilitation.


Significant gains were evident at discharge and follow-up in virtually all indices of social outcome. Improvements were recorded in type of accommodation, levels of care, functional ability, productive occupation and performance of social roles. Patients admitted within 1 year of injury made the most progress, but improvements were made regardless of time since injury. Patients continued to benefit from rehabilitation well beyond the period when most natural recovery would take place. Economic calculations suggested that the initial costs of rehabilitation are generally offset by savings in care costs within 2 years. Sensitivity analysis on estimated savings in care costs yielded projected lifetime savings of between Pounds 1.1-0.8 M for persons admitted for rehabilitation within 12 months of injury, Pounds 0.7- Pounds 0.5 M within 2 years of injury and Pounds 0.5-0.36 M for admissions after 2 years.


Specialist rehabilitation for neurobehavioural disability produces comprehensive and sustainable improvements in the life of individuals with brain injury. The initial costs associated with neurobehavioural rehabilitation are offset by savings in costs of support in the medium and longer term.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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