Occupational Therapy for Adults with Acquired Brain Injury
How an Occupational Therapist works with adults who have acquired brain injuries to help them gain independence.
An Occupational Therapist works as part of our multi-disciplinary team to help service users with acquired brain injuries to increase their skills in activities of daily living.
The Occupational Therapist assesses the sensory, emotional, psychological and physical function of the service user to identify areas of ability and need in activities such as personal care, domestic care, meal preparation, shopping and household chores as well as leisure activities or work activities (voluntary and paid).
Injuries to the brain affect different people in different ways, so occupational therapy is client-centred and goal orientated. Neurobehavioural rehabilitation aims to recover skills, maintain skills and compensate for lost skills that affect all activities of daily living and enable the service user to increase their independence.
Many individuals who survive serious brain injury experience persisting cognitive difficulties and strategies such as error-less learning help them to overcome these difficulties.
Appropriate assessment allows for an understanding of cerebral mechanisms, behavioural manifestations and associated cognitive dysfunction, leading to the most practical and cost effective rehabilitation.
Working to neurobehavioural evidence-based models of rehabilitation and scientific principles, we aim to provide effective neurobehavioural rehabilitation to improve difficulties that may include:
- Executive dysfunction
- Emotional lability
- Diminished insight
- Deficits of attention
- Poor social judgement
- Problems of impulse control
Structured occupational therapy and rehabilitation approach
The Reed and Sanderson Canadian Occupational Performance Model is the preferred occupational therapy model used because of its humanistic and respectful approach.
The stages in the occupational therapy process are:
- Information gathering
The Reed and Sanderson Canadian Occupational Performance Model uses intervention to improve all activities of daily living, working closely with clients to facilitate autonomy.
All interventions involve a structured programme of activities to overcome any dysfunction, enabling the service user to engage in their desired or required activities. It is a graded approach, which involves understanding the individual’s personal priorities and respecting their character and personality. An understanding of each individual’s daily routine and personal structures is also important as these are used as part of the therapy to help them function better in their own daily activities.
A range of assessments are used, depending in the needs of the individual. These include functional assessments relating to activities of daily living, cognitive, perceptive and sensory assessments. In addition, impairment based assessments (standardised and non-standardised) assess individual components such as memory or sensation.
Progress is reviewed at regular multidisciplinary team meetings and reports are provided as requested. Standardised scores and observations can show increased independence in individual activities as well as increased engagement with others in the local and wider community.
The Occupational Therapist works very closely with our Speech and Language Therapist and Consultant Psychologist on person-centred therapy programmes to help service users to recover their skills. Continuity is crucial for service users so all of the therapists support and train our activity support workers, also providing written therapy guidelines, to enable them to work with service users on a day to day basis.