Driving disruption interventions for acquired brain injuries in the community-based rehabilitation setting

About the Project

Chief Investigator: Stacey James, Occupational Therapist at Acquired Brain Injury Transitional Rehabilitation Service.

Project Title: Driving disruption interventions for acquired brain injuries in the community-based rehabilitation setting.

Project Team: Prof. Louise Gustafsson, Dr Kerrin Watter, Dr Mandy Nielsen, Louise Bassingthwaighte and ROAMM research group

Project Summary: Following Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) many people experience a period of driving disruption where they are not medically cleared to drive and need to access the community through other means, such as public transport or carers.   This period of driving disruption significantly restricts participation in their usual community-based occupations and increases care needs.   This is particularly noticeable during the transition from inpatient rehabilitation to living at home.  During this transition people with ABI are often engaging in community-based rehabilitation and identify goals for return to driving (RTD).  Clinicians working in this field are often helping clients with these RTD goals, however, note that existing RTD interventions are inadequate.  Currently, they focus on medical restrictions, are vague and lack relevance to the community rehabilitation setting.  This results in client confusion and frustration, and clients taking a passive approach to their driving goals which may not adequately prepare them for obtaining medical clearance (i.e., completing occupational therapy driving assessments) or prepare them for driving cessation should this be required.  An improved understanding of driving disruption interventions in community-based rehabilitation is required to better support clients while they are unable to drive, to improve their engagement in RTD goals, and improve client well-being.

The Bright Sparks project will be used to complete a scoping review of driving disruption interventions available for clients with ABI who are engaging in community-based rehabilitation and review the evidence-base for these.  This scoping review will help identify gaps in knowledge and support future research.  This project aligns with The Hopkins Centre Enabling Technologies and Environments Research program and the Restoring Occupational and CoMMunity participation (ROAMM) project

This research project was funded by The Hopkins Centre – a joint initiative of Department of Rehabilitation, Metro South Health and Griffith University. The Motor Accident Insurance Commission provided funding to The Hopkins Centre to support and conduct research activities that aim to improve the treatment and rehabilitation of people injured in motor vehicle crashes.

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