Background and Objective: As cognitive impairments represent the greatest impediment to participation following moderate–severe traumatic brain injury (TBI), cognitive rehabilitation is vital. Several sets of guidelines for cognitive rehabilitation have been published, including INCOG in 2014. However, little is known about current practice by therapists working with individuals with TBI. This study aimed to characterise current cognitive rehabilitation practices via an online survey of therapists engaged in rehabilitation in individuals with TBI.
Method: The survey documented demographic information, current cognitive rehabilitation practice, resources used to inform cognitive rehabilitation, and reflections on cognitive rehabilitation provided.
Results: The 221 Australian respondents were predominantly occupational therapists, neuropsychologists, and speech pathologists with an average 9 years of clinical experience in cognitive rehabilitation and TBI. Cognitive retraining and compensatory strategies were the most commonly identified approaches used in cognitive rehabilitation. Executive functioning was mostly targeted for retraining, whereas memory was targeted with compensatory strategies. Attentional problems were less frequently addressed. Client self-awareness, family involvement, team collaboration, and goal-setting were seen as important ingredients for success.
Conclusion: Clinical practice of cognitive rehabilitation in Australia is broadly consistent with guidelines. However, addressing the impediments to its delivery is important to enhance the quality of life for individuals with TBI.