A scoping review of the nature and outcomes of extended rehabilitation programmes after very severe brain injury Academic Article uri icon


  • PRIMARY OBJECTIVE:Many adults with very severe acquired brain injury (ABI) do not receive adequate rehabilitation, limiting their recovery and leading to admission to inappropriate living environments. The aim of this scoping review was to map the existing literature relating to the nature and outcomes of rehabilitation programmes for adults experiencing prolonged recovery after very severe ABI. DESIGN:A comprehensive scoping of the literature was undertaken, including systematic searching of databases, grey literature, and hand searching. Eligible studies had to report on (a) extended rehabilitation for (b) adults with very severe ABI and complex support needs and describe (c) the outcomes of the intervention. RESULTS:From an initial total of 17,829 citations, 18 records were retained for review. Data extraction focused on (i) participant characteristics, (ii) programme information, and (iii) programme outcomes. Studies were characterised by substantial diversity. However, findings suggested that extended rehabilitation assisted participants to live more independently in more home-like environments and contributed towards significant savings in their lifetime care costs. CONCLUSIONS:Extended specialised rehabilitation can maximise the independence and participation of adults with very severe ABI. Advocacy is required to ensure that adults with very severe injuries have access to individually tailored, non-time-limited intervention programmes.

publication date

  • 2018