Acquired Brain Injury patients returning to work thanks to Hopkins research program at PA Hospital
In response to the poor return to work rates for patients with an Acquired Brain Injury(ABI), Metro South Health’s ABI Transitional Rehabilitation Service (ABI TRS) have developed a comprehensive vocational rehabilitation framework that is proving successful in the community setting.
In a recent research study, principal researcher Dr Kerrin Watter found patients had difficultly accessing the support they needed to get back to work.
“We looked at the experience of people with ABI and the available rehabilitation programs with the aim of them returning to work.
“We found that, overall, patients felt they needed more rehabilitation and more support in returning to the workforce,” she said.
As part of the framework, patients receive neuropsychology assessments, worksite visits, reviews and progression updates.
“Our therapists work closely with employers to develop individualised programs and suitable duties plans, all within their ABI TRS community rehab program.”
For patients like Kevin O’Farrell, the program has helped him reclaim his life.
“I suffered a serious ABI in 2020 from a mountain bike accident and thought I would never get back to work.
“If it wasn’t for the staff and the whole management structure of ABI TRS, it would have been too hard. The team had done it all before so they knew what to do and how to move me forward,” he said.
For the West End fashion industry specialist, work has never been more important or enjoyable.
“Returning to work is such a positive experience for patients and this vocational approach is proving very successful in achieving this,” said Dr Watter.
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