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research in focus

With Clear Goals and a Holistic Approach, Organizations Can Move from Sheltered to Integrated Services to Benefit Clients with IDD

People with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) have lifelong conditions that may affect their ability to communicate, learn, or make decisions. Historically, adults with IDD have often received services in job or recreation facilities that are segregated or sheltered, where they may only interact with other people with disabilities and support staff, rather than an integrated setting where they may interact with people with and without disabilities.


Brief Coaching Can Help Youth Receiving Wraparound Services Become More Engaged in Their Treatment Planning

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in five children or youth may at some point have a serious emotional, mental, or behavioral disorder such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or conduct disorder. They may receive services from clinicians, social workers, and other mental health professionals.  “Wraparound” is a comprehensive, team-based program providing individualized services to children and youth with serious mental health conditions and available in most states.


For Adolescents with Traumatic Brain Injury, Problem-Solving Styles Matter in Social Situations

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is brain damage resulting from an external force, such as a fall or car accident. TBI can be mild, moderate or severe. People with TBI may have trouble with social problem-solving, which is the process of interpreting social cues and responding appropriately in social situations.


For People with Traumatic Brain Injury, Early Depression and Behavior Problems May Be Connected

Over 2 million Americans experience a traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A TBI is lasting brain damage from a blow to the head such as from a fall or car accident. TBI can be mild, moderate, or severe. Some people with TBI may develop mental or emotional challenges after their injury. Two of the most common challenges are depression (including feeling chronically sad or down, and losing interest or pleasure in doing things), and behavior issues, such as becoming more impulsive or having trouble making decisions.


The Internet and Social Media May Offer Valuable Support and Information for People with TBI

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is damage to the brain resulting from an external force, such as a fall or car accident. TBI can be mild, moderate, or severe. People with TBI, like people without disabilities, may benefit from online resources such as support groups, discussion boards, or social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, to expand their support networks and feel more connected. However, past studies have found that people with TBI may be less likely to use the Internet than people without disabilities.


Along with Their Care Teams, People with Psychiatric Conditions Can Make Their Treatment Needs Known Before a Crisis Hits

People with serious mental illnesses (SMI) such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or other psychotic disorders may periodically experience mental health crises or emergencies. During these crises, they may be unable to make treatment decisions or express their treatment wishes. A psychiatric advance directive (PAD) is a legal document that details a person’s preferences for medical treatment during a mental health crisis.


A New Program May Help People Build Self-Management Skills and Confidence After a Stroke

Stroke is the leading cause of long-term disability in the United States, according to the National Stroke Association. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain either bursts or becomes blocked. Stroke can be mild, moderate, or severe. Stroke can cause problems with movement, speech, or mental functions due to lasting brain damage. People who have had a stroke may face challenges with returning to work, independent living, or social activities after a stroke.


Mobile Health Systems May Benefit People with Physical Disabilities, But Some People May Have Challenges Using Them

People with physical disabilities may need to engage in ongoing self-care in order to stay healthy. For example, people with physical disabilities may need to take medications to improve symptoms and stabilize their health. People with spina bifida (SB) or spinal cord injury (SCI) may need to check their skin regularly to detect wounds or sores before they get worse. Mobile health (mHealth) applications are smartphone apps that can help people with physical disabilities keep track of and manage their health.


Rehabilitation Staff Have a Good General Understanding of Concussion, but Could Benefit from Learning More

A concussion is a mild brain injury that may occur after a fall or sudden impact to the head, such as during contact sports. It can cause symptoms such as headaches, confusion, or trouble concentrating, which can last for up to three months after injury. It is important for rehabilitation staff, from physicians and therapists to athletic trainers, to know how to accurately diagnose a concussion, how long it typically lasts, and what advice or therapy is appropriate to help individuals manage their symptoms and recovery.



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