Research Reports - Extra practice outside therapy sessions to maximize training opportunity during inpatient rehabilitation after traumatic brain injury

Joan Leung, Sarah Fereday, Bridget Sticpewich & Joe Hanna (2018)

Brain Injury, DOI: 10.1080/02699052.2018.1469046

Objective: To determine if extra practice outside therapy sessions can be conducted for patients with traumatic brain injury and identify factors that influence their participation.

Methods: A purpose-designed survey was conducted on consecutive eligible patients with traumatic brain injury and their relatives on discharge from inpatient rehabilitation.

Results: In total, 68 of the 69 of patients who took part in the survey reported that they participated in extra practice outside therapy sessions. Also, 58% reported that they conducted extra practice more than three times a week on average and 70% reported no barriers in conducting extra practice. Patients with poor motivation, reduced executive functioning and less severe brain injury are less likely to participate in extra practice and may require more support. Relatives tended to be involved in extra practice for patients who were dependent. A wide range of barriers were identified with poor motivation and lack of confidence being the main ones.

Conclusion: With appropriate support, extra practice outside therapy sessions is generally feasible to maximize training opportunity for patients with traumatic brain injury. Motivation, perception of being listened to, executive functioning and severity of injury are factors that influence participation in extra practice. Strategies that improve motivation, interaction and confidence are likely to enhance participation. Relatives are a useful source of support for the more dependent patients.

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