Research improves independence for people with brain injuries and reduces cost of care

The State’s insurer, the Insurance Commission of Western Australia (ICWA), has released the results of its research with the Brightwater Care Group, to improve the independence and reduce the cost of care for people with an acquired brain injury.

The 18-month research project trialled assistive toileting technologies, devices and continence management practices.

The research demonstrated that the use of assistive devices, along with comprehensive continence assessment and a tailored management plan, can increase independence, and reduce intervention from carers to support a person with an acquired brain injury.

Specifically, the research outcomes were:

  • increased independence in cognitive and functional tasks associated with toileting;
  • reduced toileting care hours on average by 4.3 hours per client per week; and
  • reduced toileting consumable costs on average by $10 per client a day.

The research is a positive outcome for people involved in the research project with acquired brain injuries.

The project identified opportunities for enhancement of continence management in the health and disability sector, including recommendations to:

  • Adopt a client-centred approach to continence care;
  • Review current continence policies and procedures against clinical practice guidelines;
  • Ensure standardised clinical documentation to enable the effective exchange of information between staff and to ensure continuity of care;
  • Improve continence management role clarity and understanding;
  • Promote a multidisciplinary approach; and
  • Increase staff education and training.

The research materials and continence management tools are available on the Insurance Commission and Brightwater websites so continence and care practices can be enhanced across the sector.

A community workshop to explain the results of the research will be hosted at the National Disability Services WA on October 29. Register for the workshop.