Aims of the Project
The patterns and spatial distribution of health and social resources are critical to service utilisation and psychosocial wellbeing following catastrophic injury such as spinal cord injury (SCI) and acquired brain injury (ABI). Study of the relationship between geographical accessibility, treatment and support trajectories and wellbeing outcomes is relatively new, however. The aim of this study is to investigate rehabilitation trajectories and experiences of a 12-month SCI and ABI cohort discharged from inpatient rehabilitation to assess social and spatial determinants of service use and wellbeing. The first component of this mixed methods study is a consented prospective cohort investigation incorporating a follow-up of service use and wellbeing based on survey data and data linkage methods and spatial mapping and analysis of the patterning of services and participants’ accessibility. The second component involves interviews with a sub-cohort about their experiences of service use and access. The findings are expected to facilitate an understanding of clusters of high and low risk and assist health and rehabilitation practitioners and funders to build capacity and plan necessary and reasonable treatment and support for persons with SCI and ABI. Specifically, policy stakeholders may use the visual maps to plan new health care services and optimally allocate financial resources.