Organising health care services for people with an acquired brain injury: An overview of systematic reviews and randomised controlled trials

Kate Laver, Natasha Lannin, Peter Bragge, Peter Hunter, Anne Holland, Emma Tavender, Denise O'Connor, Fary Khan, Robert Teasell, Russell Gruen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    21 Citations (Scopus)


    Results: A total of five systematic reviews and 21 studies were included in the review; eight of the papers (31%) included people with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or ABI and the remaining papers (69%) included only participants with a diagnosis of stroke. We found evidence supporting the use of integrated care to improve functional outcome and reduce length of stay and evidence supporting early supported discharge teams for reducing morbidity and mortality and reducing length of stay for stroke survivors. There was little evidence to support case management or the use of integrated care pathways for people with ABI. We found evidence that a quality monitoring intervention can lead to improvements in process outcomes in acute and rehabilitation settings. We were unable to find any studies meeting our inclusion criteria regarding fee-for-service care or engaging consumers in the governance of the health care organisation.

    Conclusions: The review found evidence to support integrated care, early supported discharge and quality monitoring interventions however, this evidence was based on studies conducted with people following stroke and may not be appropriate for all people with an ABI.

    Background: Acquired brain injury (ABI) is the leading cause of disability worldwide yet there is little information regarding the most effective way to organise ABI health care services. The aim of this review was to identify the most up-to-date high quality evidence to answer specific questions regarding the organisation of health care services for people with an ABI.

    Methods. We conducted a systematic review of English papers using MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, CINAHL and the Cochrane Library. We included the most recently published high quality systematic reviews and any randomised controlled trials, non-randomised controlled trials, controlled before after studies or interrupted time series studies published subsequent to the systematic review. We searched for papers that evaluated pre-defined organisational interventions for adults with an ABI. Organisational interventions of interest included fee-for-service care, integrated care, integrated care pathways, continuity of care, consumer engagement in governance and quality monitoring interventions. Data extraction and appraisal of included reviews and studies was completed independently by two reviewers.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number397
    Pages (from-to)397
    Number of pages17
    JournalBMC Health Services Research
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 17 Sep 2014


    • Brain injuries
    • Case management
    • Craniocerebral trauma
    • Delivery of health care
    • Quality assurance (Health Care)
    • Rehabilitation
    • Stroke
    • Systematic review


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