Rehabilitation models of care for children and youth with traumatic brain and/or spinal cord injuries: A focus on service structure, service organization, and the barriers and facilitators of rehabilitation service provision

Neuropsychol Rehabil. 2022 Nov 24;1-31. doi: 10.1080/09602011.2022.2147196. Online ahead of print.


To understand the systems underlying current rehabilitation models of care used with children and youth (0-21years) who sustain traumatic brain and/or spinal cord injuries. This study gathered qualitative data on service structures, service organization, and the barriers and facilitators of service provision in selected medical rehabilitation service(s) (MRS) and community-based rehabilitation service(s) (CBRS). Informants from 11 rehabilitation services were interviewed using a semi-structured interview guide. Interviews were analysed in NVivo using content analysis method. Experiences shared by the service representatives indicated that most services supported children and youth with brain injury, with a limited number also specializing in spinal cord injuries. MRS often delivered care in inpatient or outpatient settings, while CBRS offered home/community-based services. Care planning often started either prior to or shortly after admission from acute care settings, using either multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary teamwork models. Strengths of the services included innovation and provision of family-centred care; while challenges experienced included difficulty translating evidence into practice and poor team communication. Models of care were similar across services, with a focus on providing family-centred care. Several shared challenges were described, and service representatives expressed interest in forming partnerships and collaborations to address these challenges through innovative initiatives.

Keywords: Children; Rehabilitation models of care; Traumatic brain injury; Traumatic spinal cord injury; Youth.