Translating Cognitive Rehabilitation Evidence for the Busy Therapist – A Framework for Efficient Translation

Dr Belinda Dridan1

1NeuroRehab Allied Health Network, Deer Park, Australia

There are a number of systematic reviews into cognitive rehabilitation techniques for clients with acquired brain injury, but the literature is nebulous and it is difficult to decipher which technique to choose for a given client, or how to perform techniques described in vague terms in the literature (e.g. “metacognitive strategy training”). The aim of this project is to translate existing evidence into an accessible document to help psychologists, occupational therapists and speech pathologists plan, choose, and implement successful cognitive rehabilitation therapy. This presentation reports on the framework used to translate evidence for the busy clinician.

Data was collected on access to, understanding of, and translation of cognitive rehabilitation research via anonymous survey of occupational therapy, speech pathology and psychology team members at NeuroRehab Allied Health Network. This indicated that clinicians were making efforts to access and interpret literature, but there were gaps in knowledge of how to select and perform a range of cognitive rehabilitation techniques.

Two seminal systematic reviews were filtered to find evidence classed as ‘Practice Standard’ or ‘Practice Guideline’ or level A or B rated evidence. Those seminal papers were then each reviewed by the research team, to pull out the details of therapy provided including detailed description of techniques, length of therapy, client group and client main issues, and the expected outcomes.

This information is being complied in an easily searchable document to help therapists make a decision about which cognitive rehabilitation techniques to use in different groups, and to be able to justify length of cognitive therapy when applying to funding bodies such as the NDIS.

The resource is expected to be completed in September 2021 and a post survey will be conducted at that time. A cost benefit analysis will also be conducted.


Belinda has a Doctorate in Clinical Neuropsychology and experience in various private and public health settings. She is the Clinical Manager of the Psychology Department at NeuroRehab Allied Health Network, with a team of 9 Psychologists. She is also an honorary clinical lecturer at the University of Melbourne. Belinda works with adults with acquired brain injuries, and neurological or neurodegenerative disorders. She has a special interest in cognitive rehabilitation, diagnostic assessments, decision-making capacity assessments, and supporting patients to return to work.

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