Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - 15:00 to 16:00
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Brain injury can produce sudden and dramatic changes in an individual’s abilities, emotions, roles, relationships and social networks. Outcomes are difficult to predict, because of the complex interplay between the nature and severity of an individual’s brain injury, their lifestyle, their personality, their relationships, and the resources available to them. This raises compelling questions about what gives meaning to an individual’s life and contributes to their sense of self. How can we gain a rounded understanding of the psychological impact of a brain injury on the person who has suffered it? How can rehabilitation be designed and delivered to help people pick up the threads of fulfilling lives? Do improvements in abilities necessarily improve their quality of life? Can research shape services and make effective treatments more accessible?
In my talk I will describe the development and evaluation of a community-based rehabilitation team based at the Homerton Hospital in London (the RNRU Outreach team), and a related programme of research to design outcome measures sensitive to changes in functional abilities, social engagement, and psychological well-being. One of these instruments, the QOLIBRI, measures changes in subjective quality of life: developed simultaneously in several languages by clinicians and researchers from over 10 countries, it has been designed to enable cross-cultural comparisons. I will outline some of the published validation findings, and also describe some emerging (as yet unpublished) findings from a prospective study exploring functional and quality of life changes in Outreach Team clients.
Professor Jane Powell, a clinical neuropsychologist by background, has held the position of Vice-Provost for Education & Students at the University of Surrey since January 2017. She was previously at Goldsmiths, University of London, where she held various leadership roles including Head of the Department of Psychology, Pro-Warden for Research & Enterprise, and then Deputy Warden with strategic responsibility for Academic Development and Internationalisation. She has always maintained clinical as well as research roles, specialising in addiction and brain injury rehabilitation services, and continues to play an advisory role with the specialist community-based neurorehabilitation team she helped to establish at Homerton Hospital in the 1990s.