Using participatory action research in community-based rehabilitation for people with acquired brain injury: from service provision to partnership with Aboriginal communities
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Purpose. Community-based rehabilitation (CBR) developed in response to delivery of rehabilitation services to people with disability in developing countries, and appears appropriate to address rehabilitation needs of rural and remote populations, including Australian Aboriginal People with acquired brain injury (ABI). This article will describe participatory action research (PAR) as a vehicle for exploring and translating the CBR model within a mainstream brain injury rehabilitation service in Queensland, Australia. Method. PAR was conducted with two self-selected remote Aboriginal communities in Far North Queensland. Key components to this project were the employment of a local Aboriginal worker, facilitating community engagement and consultation. PAR elements of planning, action and review were conducted through individual and group meetings and activities within the communities across a 3-year period. Results. The project has facilitated expansion and change within the current brain injury rehabilitation service model in line with CBR philosophical foundations, including community development and partnership as a desirable way of engaging with key stakeholders. Conclusions. The focus on community consultation through PAR and the development of community partnerships has increased the cultural competency of the rehabilitation service, the capacity of participating communities and of the sector to respond in ways that are valued and owned by Aboriginal People with brain injury, their families and communities.
Disability and Rehabilitation
Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified