Open Lecture – Targeting occupational leisure deprivation in severe brain injury using innovative sensory and functional occupational therapy groups
Presenters: Siobhan Fuller, Ward Manager, and Lucy McDonough, Senior Occupational Therapist, Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability
The specialist nursing home at the RHN cares for 122 residents with varying levels of disability following brain injury. 66% of residents present with a prolonged disorder of consciousness (PDOC) (vegetative state or minimally conscious state).
A recent service evaluation on access to leisure activities showed that while our offering was suitable for severe brain injuries we also needed a more targeted approach to enable residents in PDOC to experience appropriate leisure activities. PDOC residents are at high risk of occupational deprivation.
Group work is an established tool within occupational therapy (OT) practice. We used activity analysis to break down the components of our existing group to form two specialised groups that can capture the different participation needs of our residents.
Our existing groups are based on functional activities and continue to be suitable for residents who can participate. The new groups are based on providing a sensory experience within the context of the activity (in our case studies baking and art) and are suitable for residents who cannot actively participate.
The core occupational therapy skills of activity analysis allowed one activity to be adapted to meet all complex levels of disability.
Carefully designed group activities should be considered for clients with severe brain injury not only as assessment but also to enable access to participate in appropriate leisure occupations, an area often not met for people with complex neuro-disability.
This lecture provided an opportunity to hear how we are further developing this project and are now moving towards more of a multi-disciplinary approach.
Fench, A. Baker M.2008. Casual leisure and the sensory diet: a concept for improving quality of life in neuropalliative conditions. 23.369- 376. IOS Press
Royal College of Physicians. 2013. Prolonged disorders of consciousness. National clinical guidelines. London. Royal College of Physicians Publications