Acquired Brain Injury

Traumatic Brain Injury: Epidemiology & Rehabilitation in Ireland

Aims - to study the pathways through rehabilitation for survivors of traumatic brain injury in the Republic of Ireland

Participants - survivors of moderate or severe brain injury in Ireland, and their family members/carers where relevant.

Setting - Republic of Ireland

Methods - Participants are recruited through two major service providers and two acute hospitals with neurosurgical services. A questionnaire is administered on two occasions six months apart, using a range of options - in person, telephone, paper based and online, to suit the participants. Participants are asked to identify another person who helps them with their day-to-day lives, often a partner or a family member, and if both agree, that person is interviewed too.

Context - Traumatic brain injury (TBI) – also known as head injury – is a leading cause of death and disability worldwide. In Ireland, a dearth of research on TBI means that we do not know the number of people affected by head injury and we do not have the information required to support improved neuro-rehabilitation service planning. Despite the best efforts of rehabilitation service providers, neuro-rehabilitation service provision is wholly inadequate to meet the needs of individuals with TBI and their families. A lack of reliable data impedes both the advocacy efforts of Knowledge Users (Acquired Brain Injury Ireland and Headway) in representing the needs of stakeholders, and the development and implementation of a rehabilitation model to address these shortfalls.  This study aims to provide information to support this process.