Aggression and TBI

I did a journal review this week, an article found by a collegue who has a subscription to the British Journal of OT. The title is “Occupational Therapists’ Perceptions and Management of Aggression related to Adults with a Brain Injury”, written by K.Beauliu (2007) 70(4).

The whole article raised some interesting points, including

  • physical aggression towards OT is most common when helping with ADL’s
  • agression is related to fear of failure when presented with challenging assessments
  • OT’s dont tend to blame patients for their aggressive behaviour, instead they see it as a sympton of their TBI
  • OT’s avoid the behavioural approach when managing aggression, instead opt for preventative strategies by eliminating the perceived cause of aggression

But most importantly – we need training!! This dramatically improves our confidence in managing aggressive behaviour, and therefore reduces the incidence of aggression.

It’s worth a looking into.


3 Responses to Aggression and TBI

  1. occupationaltherapyreflect says:

    I completely agree. This journal article raised some great points especially regarding therapists perceptions of agressive behaviour post TBI. It is quite interesting the difference in perceptions of those (including family and other staff) who have basic education and training on managing agression compared to those who dont. I have certainly seen the effects of no or minimal education or training on a persons likelihood of internalising the aggression and blaming the person and not their head injury….definately food for thought! 🙂

  2. Linda says:

    I’ve worked as an OT Assistant for 7 years and have often experienced aggresion in these clients. Yes we certainly need more training in this field.

  3. occupationaltherapyotago says:

    I will have to go find the article. I am interested in your point that ‘occupational therapist avoid behaviour management but opt for preventative strategies by eliminating the perceived cause of the aggression’.

    It’s an interesting finding I guess occupational therapists take this tact because one of our tools of trade is being good at grading activities . That is the amount of stimulation, information, and complexity of the task etc. As well as setting the environment so that people are able to cope at the level they are at with ‘a just right ‘challenge to encourage increased self control, independence etc. But I wonder is this always the right strategy ?

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