Nic 's cover image
Nic

Nic Stuart

Year of Award: 2015 Award State: Australian Capital Territory Health And Medicine > Rehabilitation And Pain Management
Health And Medicine > Community Care
The NRMA-ACT Road Safety Trust Churchill Fellowship to investigate the treatment of head injuries specifically concentrating on ways of reintegrating people into the local community - Thailand, Germany, Netherlands, UK, USA
Download

I have come to realise that key findings of this report are obvious, although this doesn’t mean their implications are always fully understood and recognised. The most critical factor in recovery after a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is ensuring people have the vital support that’s necessary to assist in their eventual recovery and re-integration into society. This need doesn’t cease when a patient leaves (either) a hospital; the rehabilitation facility; or at some arbitrary point in time, like a two year mark. We now understand that plasticity means the brain is never fixed at any particular point in time. It continues to develop, and yet this (possibly obvious) insight represents a significant departure from the medical and scientific orthodoxy that dominated our understanding of TBI as recently as 15 years ago.

The point really is how can we best reintegrate people with a TBI back into the community. Obviously particular practices are better than others; the point is, how will we know which is most appropriate? This is particularly an issue in brain injury, where every case is different. It became evident as I researched the multitude of different approaches while on this trip that no particular prescriptive formulation will always work, however if people are equipped with knowledge they are more likely to be able to choose the right answers for them than if they are fumbling around in the dark. 

This Fellowship was concerned with investigating the treatment of head injuries and, specifically, concentrating on ways of reintegrating people into the local community. There remain real barriers to further progress in this regard. Some of these are a result of a lack of support for particular programs either because services do not exist, while others are because of a lack of personalised treatment regimes allowing for changing abilities. Still more are because of the social environment of the person with a TBI and, as a part of that, the way society deals with and treats such people. The key here, too, is information. If people possess an understanding of complex issues they can begin to address the problem. If they aren’t equipped with the tools they won’t be able to begin.

Related fellows
Anna Cronin, Anna
Health And Medicine > Rehabilitation And Pain Management
2015
Prue Golland, Prue
Health And Medicine > Rehabilitation And Pain Management
2015
Rachel Mullins, Rachel
Health And Medicine > Rehabilitation And Pain Management
2014
Susan Gontaszewski, Susan
Health And Medicine > Rehabilitation And Pain Management
2016
Robyn Grote, Robyn
Health And Medicine > Rehabilitation And Pain Management
2016
Beck Hefferon, Beck
Health And Medicine > Rehabilitation And Pain Management
2016
Jane Rooney, Jane
Health And Medicine > Rehabilitation And Pain Management
2016
Marilyn Di Stefano, Marilyn
Health And Medicine > Rehabilitation And Pain Management
2013
Felicity Pidgeon, Felicity
Health And Medicine > Rehabilitation And Pain Management
2013
Leigh Donovan, Leigh
Health And Medicine > Community Care
2017