Provincial Acquired Brain Injury Conference

Presented by OBIA and Participating Community Associations

Concurrent Session A

Thursday, November 7, 2019 10:30am – 11:30am

A1 – Negative Attribution Bias: A New Perspective On Anger and Aggression After Brain Injury and Implications for Treatment

Dawn Neumann, PhD, FACRM will discuss how anger and aggression after brain injury is associated with negative inferences or attributions they make about others’ behaviors (intent, hostility and blame). This presentation will also illustrate how negative attributions differ between people with and without brain injury, and elucidate factors that make some people with brain injury more prone to this type of thinking (negative attribution bias). Clinical applications, including screening and treatment approaches will be discussed. Specifically, a novel intervention using Perspective taking methods to teach patients with brain injury a more benign interpretation of others’ behaviors will be described, along with results from the supporting case study.

A2 – Vision Screening From the Front Lines: What Therapists Need to Know to Help Identify Post-Concussion Vision Issues

Stephanie Schurr, OTD, OT Reg. (Ont.) and Tanya Polonenko, OD, FAAO, FCOVD, will describe a 30-minute screening battery that was used in a study to differentiate concussion survivors with and without vision concerns. They will describe the most common post-concussion vision disorders and share quick screening tools that can help therapists identify clients in need of further evaluation of visual function than what is involved in their regular eye care. They will also share information about how optometrists and rehabilitation providers can work together to help clients suffering from post-concussion vision disorders to ease their visual symptoms and return to the activities that give their lives meaning.

A3 – Youth and Adults with Traumatic Brain Injury in the Criminal Justice System: Building Bridges and Creating Integrated Approaches to Care

Catherine Wiseman-Hakes, PhD, SLP, Amber Kellen, BSW, MPPA and Kelly Potvin, ED Elizabeth Fry Society, aim to bridge gaps in knowledge and service provision for individuals with TBI in the Criminal Justice System (CJS). As many as 88% of incarcerated adults and 16% to 72% of youth have a reported history of TBI. An interactive panel presentation will explore issues regarding cognitive-communication and behavioral self-regulation among individuals with TBI in the CJS and how these contribute to social and health inequities and return to custody. Expert panelists representing the clinical and social research perspective, community services and lived experience will provide an overview of the needs and challenges inherent within this vulnerable population and ongoing research in Ontario. An interactive case presentation will allow audience members an opportunity to consider integrated approaches to service access and care.

A4 – Neurotrauma Care Pathways: A System Approach to Harmonizing Healthcare for People with Brain Injury and Spinal Cord Injury in Ontario

Corinne Kagan, BA, BPS Cert., Laurie Davis and Charissa Levy, MHSc, BSc (OT), OT Reg. will describe the Neurotrauma Care Pathways project. This presentation will outline progress achieved to date and next steps, providing audience an opportunity to provide input. Expected benefits of Neurotrauma Care Pathways are improved health equity; more consistent, evidence-informed practice; improved coordination of health care to support people in the community; improved health outcomes and reduced hospital visits. Stakeholder consultations and survey methods will provide key input regarding needs, pressure points and challenges and stakeholder validation of proposed new pathways.

A5 – Navigating Accessibility through Post-Secondary Education Following ABI

Kate Dykstra, BA, MEd, OCT and Joanna Hamilton, PhD, C.Psych., presentation will cover the types of documentation required to register as a student with a disability at an Ontario post secondary institution. A review of a typical intake for students with ABI, including possible accommodations available for students will be shared. OSAP funding possibilities for students with disabilities will be outlined. Benefits of Neuropsychological testing will also be discussed, as will the importance of following concussion protocol for students who sustain an injury during studies.

A6 – A Tale of Two Cities – A Collaborative Project For Initiating and Maintaining Economic and Social Supports Following an ABI

Ryan Natale, BA Hons. and Laura Bellon, BA Hons, BEd, will address the realities of those living on a limited income following an ABI and address navigating complex systems for those who have exhausted financial supports. The presentation’s highlighted initiatives will be The Homelessness Prevention Program and the Transitional Support Program in two different communities. Our team will share a unique integrated poverty reduction service model with demonstrated success. We will strive to address system navigation barriers and practical strategies for individualized support, as well as provide tools and tips for navigating public support systems. The ultimate goal of both programs is to create a safety network for those living with ABI, thus reducing costly patterns of incarceration, hospitalization and long term care. This will be an interactive presentation which will include case histories, a panel discussion and a Q & A for participants.