On Monday 26th November INPA attended the “Neurobehavioural Disability after Acquired Brain Injury: Recent Innovations in Clinical Practice and Delivery” hosted by Swansea University in partnership with Elysium Neurological. Yet again this was a well organised, extremely informative and lovely event to attend. INPA had a stand alongside UKABIF and it was great for our research officer Aimee Pink to inform delegates of who we are, what we do as well as share and discuss the latest research findings (Outcome Measures study; see https://www.in-pa.org.uk/research for more details).
Dr Claire Williams (Psychologist, Swansea University) opened the conference with a warm welcome and introduced Professor Nick Alderman (Clinical Director, Elysium Neurological) who presented research highlighting the benefits of self-monitoring training in rehabilitation to help reduce challenging behaviour. Next was Jessica Fish (Clinical Psychologist, St George’s Hospital, NHS) who shared a case study about a patient who had difficulty distinguishing dreams and reality resulting in confabulation. Jessica also shared techniques and strategies used to help the patient keep track of their dreams and day-to-day activities, so they could they identify what information was confabulated and what was true.
After some delicious cookies in the refreshment break, Louise Smith (Hospital Director, Elysium Neurological) presented an interesting talk comparing multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary teams (TDT), particularly highlighting the benefits, challenges and how to overcome challengers in TDT. To prepare the delegates for lunch, Dr Giles Yeates (Clinical Neuropsychologist and Tai Ji instructor, Neuro Flow) introduced Tai Ji and had the whole room practising ‘cloud hands’. Giles highlighted that talking may not be the right form of therapy for a number of individuals with acquired brain injury (ABI) and that practising martial arts and exploring a mind-body community may help instead.
Following lunch, Dr Mark Holloway (Brain Injury Case Manager, Head First) shared case studies of good and effective case management but also unfortunately had stories of poor case management. This flagged a number of barriers to good case management and Mark went on to describe what could be done to help avoid these barriers, what case managers should expect and highlighted the importance of a supportive network and team. This was followed nicely by Dr Richard Maddicks (Consultant Clinical Neuropsychologist, Chartered Psychologist) who expressed the importance of relationships, that the wellbeing of the individual with ABI is intrinsically linked to family mental health and that decision making between families and spouses is therapeutically binding.
To finish the event on a high, Joanna Humphreys (Music Therapist, Nordoff Robbins) got all the delegates to join in with body percussion and singing as an example of music therapy. Joanna shared a very moving case study of the journey through music therapy and highlighted the emotion and meaning music can bring. It was a lovely end to the day.
It was yet again an enjoyable and informative day out for INPA at #ABISwan. It was great to hear so many cases studies and the effective and innovative rehabilitation currently being conducted. We look forward to next years programme and joining everyone again.