What Is TBI Rehabilitation Really Like?

Ron Broughton of Brookhaven Hospital talks about moving away from standardized rehab treatments for people with TBI and focusing on a truly individualized model.

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The question I put forth with what is TBI rehabilitation really like has to do from my perspective of what really goes on on the front lines day in and day out. In other words, like at Brookhaven, the day-to-day floor decisions by the professionals, the nursing staff, the Milieu staff, and in light of the day to day interactions and decisions that we make with patients, what are we really doing? Are we allowing them to be a partner in their treatment or are we still adhering to a treatment regimen that we believe through our own beneficent intent is going to work best for them, and who truly knows what works best for them? I would like to think that we have some of the knowledge as professionals, at the same time as professionals I don't think we want to rule out the knowledge that the patient themselves have. We also don't want to rule out the knowledge that the family also has when there's family involvement. And so I think again, it's a large participatory model of everyone involved and that's what I mean by what is it really like. And I'm looking to try to spur thought among professionals to think in these terms of patient autonomy, patient capacity, and questioning our own treatment decisions from an ethical standpoint and our own beneficent intent as opposed to the actual reality of what the patient sees, and experiences, and perceives as our intent. And what I am trying to address there, and have concern for, is moving away from a general standardized model of treatment opposed to a more individualized treatment. I think the profession talks about individualized treatment quite a bit, at the same time I think the reality is we all have standard operating procedures that we go through with everyone.
Posted on BrainLine November 7, 2012. Reviewed December 25, 2017.

Produced by Victoria Tilney McDonough and Erica Queen, BrainLine, and Dan Edblom.