A survey of multidisciplinary clinicians working in rehabilitation for people with traumatic brain injury
Pagan, E and Ownsworth, T and McDonald, S and Fleming, J and Honan, C and Togher, L, A survey of multidisciplinary clinicians working in rehabilitation for people with traumatic brain injury, Brain Impairment, 16, (3) pp. 173-195. ISSN 1443-9646 (2016) [Refereed Article]
Copyright 2016 Australasian Society for the Study of Brain Impairment
Little is known about clinicians’ experiences in rehabilitation for people with traumatic brain injury (TBI). This survey study aimed to investigate clinicians’ scope of practice, perceived barriers to practice, factors influencing confidence levels and professional development preferences. Participants included 305 clinicians (88% female, 97% aged 20–60 years) from psychology (28%), occupational therapy (27%), speech pathology (15%), physiotherapy (11%), social work (6%), rehabilitation medicine (3%) and nursing (3%) disciplines. Survey results indicated that goal setting, client or family education, and assessment for rehabilitation, were the most common activities across all disciplines (> 90%). Client-related barriers, family-related barriers and client–therapist relationship barriers were more frequently selected than workplace context and professional skill barriers (p .05). Clinicians working with clients with mild TBI reported significantly fewer barriers (p < .05); yet, they were less confident in overcoming barriers than clinicians working with clients with more severe TBI (p < .001). Clinicians with fewer years of experience (< 2 years) reported significantly lower confidence in overcoming barriers than clinicians with 2–10 years and > 10 years of experience (p < .01). The most commonly selected professional development areas included new interventions and therapies, translating rehabilitation research into everyday practice and client specific topics. These findings provide a unique multidisciplinary perspective on clinicians working in TBI rehabilitation in Australia. Understanding of the perceived barriers to practice and professional development needs may guide training and support initiatives for clinicians which, in turn, may enhance the quality of brain injury rehabilitation.