From injury to long-term physical activity for people living with TBI

MRFF research grant – 2020 MRFF Traumatic Brain Injury Mission

Grant Duration: 2 years

Administering Institution: University of Sydney

This project aims to enhance participation in physical activity for children, adolescents, adults, and older adults living with moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) through the adaptation and translation of the newly released WHO physical activity guidelines for people living with disability.

There is irrefutable high-quality evidence confirming the multidimensional benefits of physical activity both at the individual and societal level. Despite these benefits, physical inactivity is one of the leading global health challenges with about 1/3 of the global population being insufficiently active. For adults and children living with disability, including those living with TBI, they are twice as likely not to meet recommended physical activity levels.

The newly published WHO 2020 physical activity and sedentary behaviour guidelines for adults and children living with disability have been developed from high-quality direct evidence from eight health conditions (including stroke but not TBI) as well as indirect evidence from general age-specific populations. Guidelines themselves do not change behaviour and therefore purposeful efforts are needed to operationalise the guidelines into action to support target populations meeting the guideline recommendations.

This project will develop clinical practice guidelines and resources to support implementation of physical activity for all people living with TBI across Australia. We will identify the current patient journey from injury along the continuum of care to community-reintegration, identifying who, where and how physical activity is prescribed, identifying examples of evidence-based care and where gaps in services exist.

MRFF funding will enable us to rigorously design clinical practice guidelines and conduct pre-implementation work to identify influences to implementing these guidelines into practice, utilising this data to design implementation strategies to be tested in future implementation trials.