Nicky Brosnan
Psychologist – Brightwater Caregroup

Nicky trained in the UK becoming a Clinical Psychologist in 2005 and going on to do further training at the University of Glasgow in Clinical Neuropsychology. Since then Nicky has worked in the NHS in brain injury neurorehabilitation, neuropsychiatry, neurobehavioural and post-acute specialist stroke rehabilitation services. Before moving to Perth in 2013 Her passion is service development and improving training for those working with ABI which was demonstrated with the project management role she played developing Psychological Adjustment After Stroke Training (PAAST) which is an online training package for staff. Nicky currently works in a slow stream residential and community based rehabilitation service in Perth, WA. She is Senior Clinical Psychologist and Evaluations Co-ordinator with the remit of evaluating the impact slow stream rehabilitation has on clients following ABI and TBI.

Presentation Title
Enabling Social Drinking in a Supported Community Setting following Acquired Brain Injury

Short Abstract
Enabling Social Drinking in a Supported Community Setting following Acquired Brain InjuryBrosnan, Nicky1 and King, Rachel1 1Oats Street Rehabilitation Programme, Brightwater Care Group, Perth, AustraliaBackground and Objectives:Alcohol plays a major role in society. Following an acquired brain injury (ABI), people often do not know whether they can or should consume alcohol and have limited access and opportunity to do so. Some doctors may not provide clearance for alcohol consumption after ABI and for some this is not acceptable. Without collaboration and negotiation this can cause frustration and disappointment. The aim of this programme was to increase understanding for both clients and staff about alcohol and brain injury, and provide people with ABI an opportunity to consume alcohol in a supported environment.

Method: Two groups of n=4 clients (total n=8) with an ABI completing post-acute rehabilitation, completed education on ABI and alcohol, signed a contract of attendance for the program and were supported by one Disability Support Worker to attend a local venue within the community for 6 week blocks. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected pre and post supported outings. Results:Attitudes towards clients and drinking improved. Individuals became more sociable on site, community inclusion increased and mood improved. Improvements were observed on measures of mental health and wellbeing, inclusion and understanding of ABI and alcohol. Individuals looked forward to the group and the opportunities it brought. Observations of group interactions highlighted the importance of community integration.

Conclusions: Supporting people in ABI rehabilitation to consume alcohol at appropriate levels within a social community environment led to decreased incidences of excessive alcohol consumption as well as decreased social isolation.