Original Research

Factors affecting occupational therapy services for patients with traumatic brain injury

Melanie C.J.S. Leyder, Fiona Breytenbach
African Journal of Disability | Vol 12 | a1203 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajod.v12i0.1203 | © 2023 Melanie C.J.S. Leyder, Fiona Breytenbach | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 February 2023 | Published: 06 December 2023

About the author(s)

Melanie C.J.S. Leyder, Department of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Fiona Breytenbach, Department of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the top causes of disability in the younger population worldwide. Rehabilitation services should be accessible to all citizens to achieve universal health coverage.

Objectives: This study aimed to explore the barriers and facilitators influencing the provision of rehabilitation for patients with TBI from occupational therapists’ perspectives in Gauteng, South African healthcare facilities. It further explored the perceived strategies that would strengthen the delivery and provision of TBI rehabilitation.

Method: An exploratory qualitative research design was used in this study. A total of 16 occupational therapists were in focus groups either face-to-face or on an online platform. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the raw data.

Results: There were three themes that emerged from the study, namely, ‘Not a recipe’, ‘Toolbox’, and ‘Lost in the cracks’. These themes highlighted the various aspects affecting the rehabilitation of patients with TBI.

Conclusion: There are factors that both enhance and hinder service delivery for patients with TBI rehabilitation. Strategies to overcome barriers to TBI rehabilitation need to be considered to improve service provision for patients with TBI.

Contribution: This article provides recommendations to improve occupational therapy services for patients with TBI in South Africa. The findings can contribute to policy development and education requirements for TBI.


Keywords

traumatic brain injury; occupational therapy; rehabilitation; barriers; facilitators; focus group; Gauteng.

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 3: Good health and well-being

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