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Traumatic brain injury caused by work accidents: How can occupational and vocational recovery be achieved?

Paola Perini, Margherita Caristi, Elisabetta Mondin, Maria Rosaria Matarrese, Giovanni Cortese, Alessandro Giustini, Ilaria Cannella, Alessia Pinzello, Paolo Fogar
Istituto di Riabilitazione Madre della Divina Provvidenza Agazzi, Arezzo, Italy. E-mail: pperini@istitutoagazzi.it
DOI: 10.2340/20030711-1000031

Abstract

Issues connected with the reintegration of individuals affected by severe brain injury are numerous and complex. Extensive data indicate the effectiveness of treatments based on an holistic approach, which integrates medical interventions with social programmes and offers continuity, leading to the rapid achievement of independent living outcomes and return to work. In Italy, extensive resources are available for the clinical and rehabilitation management of individuals affected by traumatic brain injury in the acute and post-acute phase, but there are only a few organized services to support the reintegration phase. This paper describes a model created via a 2-year collaboration between the National Institute for Insurance against Accidents at Work (INAIL) in Rome and the National Federation of Traumatic Brain Injury Associations (FNATC). The combined effort of these organizations led to the development of an Italian Model of Vocational Rehabilitation (IMoVR), which was exportable to all 20 Italian Regions. Due to the experience gained by a few avant-garde teams, IMoVR was used to pioneer an approach characterized by structured phases and actions aimed at designing high-quality interventions, and at monitoring their long-term effectiveness. These teams comprised experts in different areas, including: forensic doctors, social workers, administrative managers of INAIL, neuropsychologists, psychotherapists, educators working in associations registered with FNATC, all of whom are members of a service network that had already activated small individual vocational projects. In total, the collaboration comprised 42 professionals working in 7 Italian cities: Ancona, Arezzo, Ferrara, Milano, Pordenone, Rimini and Vicenza.

Lay Abstract

Traumatic brain injury caused by work accidents: how can occupational and vocational recovery be achieved? Issues connected with the reintegration of individuals affected by severe brain injury are numerous and highly complex, involving sensorimotor, cognitive, psychological and behavioural factors and requiring specific interventions throughout many years. This paper describes a Model created through a two-year collaboration between the National Institute for Insurance against Accidents at Work (INAIL) and the National Federation of Traumatic Brain Injury Associations (FNATC). Their conjoined effort led to the development of an Italian Model of Vocational Rehabilitation (IMoVR) exportable to all 20 Italian regions. Thanks to the experience built by few avantgarde teams, this Model represents an absolute first-ever innovation in Italy, characterized by structured phases and actions aimed at designing high quality intervention and at monitoring their long-term effectiveness.
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