Evaluating the effectiveness of a multidisciplinary hypertonicity service to inform the development of a state-wide service model for management of hypertonicity post brain injury

About the Project

Up to 42% of people experience hypertonicity (muscle over-activity) after brain injury. Consequences include joint contractures, pressure areas, pain, muscle weakness and tightness leading to disability, reduced quality of life and increased health care costs. Evidence suggests Botulinum toxin injections and therapy can successfully counteract these problems. Ideally patients should receive management in their local area to maximise access, support and continuity of care. We plan to make this happen by applying new knowledge of patient outcomes to the development of a best practice state-wide model of multidisciplinary hypertonicity management.

The Princess Alexandra Hospital Hypertonicity Service (PAHTS) currently provides the only specialist service in Queensland and the multidisciplinary team is the recognised state leader in the field. Unfortunately, patients from regional areas face significant access barriers.

The PAHTS has routinely collected encompassing assessment data over an eight-year period on 340 patients. The substantial database provides opportunity for a comprehensive analysis to identify patterns and trends for successful hypertonicity management in this health care setting.

Aims of the Project

This project involves the collaboration between expert Clinicians from Medical and Allied Health fields and Hopkins Centre Researchers.

The primary aim of this project is to evaluate and refine the PAHTS delivery model for future state-wide implementation by investigating the pattern of outcomes of hypertonicity patients using secondary data analysis, and identifying the association between goal achievement, patient and service characteristics and successful hypertonicity management.

The anticipated key benefits of the research include consistent, easily accessible and high-quality hypertonicity management, promoting improved function and daily life participation for all Queensland patients.

This project is has just commenced, so stay tuned for more to come....

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