4: Rehabilitation after traumatic brain injury

Fary Khan, Ian J Baguley and Ian D Cameron
Med J Aust 2003; 178 (6): 290-295.


  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI) commonly affects younger people and causes life-long impairments in physical, cognitive, behavioural and social function. The cognitive, behavioural and personality deficits are usually more disabling than the residual physical deficits. Recovery from TBI can continue for at least 5 years after injury.

  • Rehabilitation is effective using an interdisciplinary approach, and close liaison with the patient, family and carers. The focus is on issues such as retraining in activities of daily living, pain management, cognitive and behavioural therapies, and pharmacological management.

  • The social burden of TBI is significant, and therefore family education and counselling, and support of patient and carers, is important.

  • General practitioners play an important role in providing ongoing support in the community, monitoring for medical complications, behavioural and personality issues, social reintegration, carer coping skills and return-to-work issues.

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  • Fary Khan1
  • Ian J Baguley2
  • Ian D Cameron3

  • 1 Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 2 Brain Injury Rehabilitation Service, Westmead Hospital, Sydney, NSW.
  • 3 Rehabilitation Studies Unit, University of Sydney, Ryde, NSW.


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