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Brain injury professionals' attitudes towards risk assessment

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2012
<mark>Journal</mark>Social Care and Neurodisability
Issue number2
Number of pages12
Pages (from-to)77-88
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Purpose – The sequelae of acquired brain injury can lead to a complex array of risks. This research explores professionals' perspectives on those risks, focussing on how psycho-social risks are assessed and managed.

Design/methodology/approach – A self completion questionnaire was designed, and distributed to a range of professionals working in brain injury services.

Findings – A total of 177 participants completed an anonymous questionnaire. Principal components analysis produced three factors, which were given the labels “User-friendliness”, “Person-centeredness” and “Coherence”. Inconsistencies were identified in approaches to risk assessment and management. Participants also reported particular beneficial approaches, such as multi-disciplinary discussions, and using assessments to guide rehabilitation.

Research limitations/implications – The convenience sampling approach limits the generalisablity of the findings. However, the study was adequately powered, reliable, and valid.

Practical implications – The findings of this research, existing literature, and clinical experience are drawn together in a proposed model for managing risk. This model, which incorporates the three factors identified through statistical analysis could guide effective risk management, documentation and associated procedures. The model presents a framework for service design and provision, as well as providing a focus for future research.

Social implications – It is likely that more active engagement in risk assessment on the part of professionals, services, and those who access services, will be engendered if the process is able to become more user-friendly, person-centred, and coherent, across and within service provision.

Originality/value – Despite legislative calls for regular training and effective communication in relation to risk, this is not the routine experience of professionals working in brain injury services. The findings of the present research offer a new, structured process, for overcoming the challenge for embedding legislation and research findings into practice.