What is it about?

An existing NHS rehabilitation intervention that helps people to return to work after traumatic brain injury (TBI) was chosen because it showed some promising effects. We took this intervention and developed a training package. We then trained some occupational therapists using face-to-face teaching, a manual and a mentoring scheme. The mentoring continued whilst the therapists delivered the intervention to people with TBI in 3 NHS sites in England as part of a randomised controlled feasibility trial. This paper describes the development of training and then evaluates it from the perspective of the trainees. Recommendations for improvements are made.

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Why is it important?

This study helps occupational therapists and trialists to understand components of a VR training package for people with TBI and shows that occupational therapists’ positive experiences of the training prepared them in implementing the intervention.


Therapists often share good practice and want to improve what their service-users receive in rehabilitation. When they come across an intervention that gets good results, therapists are keen to learn how to be able to implement the same in their own hospital or other context. However, what we learned is that transferring what one therapist does to another therapist is not straightforward. Developing this training package took a significant amount of time and energy to really record all the elements and steps. This is because once we get used to delivering an intervention, aspects of it become second nature and it becomes difficult to describe everything in detail. However, this detail is what is required for the new therapist to learn and then implement the intervention. The detail is fundamental to be able to then design the modes of training. The paper describes this process and the package of training that the therapists then received. The key aspect of the training package were the three components together; the manual, the teaching and the mentoring. Therapists said all three elements were required and that ongoing support from mentoring really helped them to get to grips with the intervention itself but more importantly, to implement it in a real life situation. The therapists are able to recommend improvements for future colleagues who might also receive version 2 of the training package.

Mrs Jain A Holmes
University of Nottingham

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Development and evaluation of an early specialised traumatic brain injury vocational rehabilitation training package, British Journal of Occupational Therapy, July 2016, SAGE Publications, DOI: 10.1177/0308022616651645.
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