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Disabil Rehabil. 2012;34(22):1855-62. Epub 2012 Apr 10.

Encouraging family engagement in the rehabilitation process: a rehabilitation provider's development of support strategies for family members of people with traumatic brain injury.

Author information

1
ABI Rehabilitation New Zealand, Ltd., New Zealand. allison.foster@abi-rehab.co.nz

Abstract

PURPOSE:

After a moderate to severe traumatic brain injury, it is widely recommended that family members be actively engaged in the client's rehabilitation journey because evidence suggests that this is associated with better outcomes. The ability of family members to fully engage in rehabilitation may be hindered by the barriers (logistical and psychological) they encounter. However, rehabilitation services can facilitate family engagement through a person-centred approach that provides support to remove barriers. Limited published guidance exists regarding practical and effective methods for delivering such support. This paper describes how one rehabilitation service has developed an eight-tiered approach.

KEY MESSAGES AND IMPLICATIONS:

Family support is provided by explicit structuring of services to include (i) early engagement, (ii) meeting cultural needs, (iii) keeping families together, (iv) actively listening, (v) active involvement, (vi) education, (vii) skills training, and (viii) support for community re-integration. Implementation of these support strategies are individualised based on the expressed needs of each family. Families report a high level of satisfaction with the service.

CONCLUSION:

A practice-based quality improvement model identified challenges, implemented changes, and observed/evaluated the results to successfully develop a multifaceted strategy for supporting families, thereby encouraging their engagement in rehabilitation. Ongoing refinements and evaluation are planned.

PMID:
22489631
DOI:
10.3109/09638288.2012.670028
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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