To read this content please select one of the options below:

How is ABI assessed and responded to in non-specialist settings? Is specialist education required for all social care professionals?

Mark Holloway (Brain Injury Case Manager, based at Head First, Hawkhurst, UK)

Social Care and Neurodisability

ISSN: 2042-0919

Article publication date: 4 November 2014




The purpose of this paper is to examine the research into prevalence of acquired brain injury in non-ABI specialist services, the impact of the invisible aspects of executive impairment and loss of insight upon functioning and to question how this is assessed and managed by generalist services.


A literature search was undertaken to identify where people with an ABI may come in to contact with services that are not specifically designed to meet their needs.


ABI is prevalent amongst users of a variety of community, inpatient and criminal justice services. The common albeit invisible consequences of ABI complicate assessment, service use and or treatment particularly in the context of a lack of under pinning knowledge and experience amongst the staff in non-specialist ABI services. As a consequence risks to children and adults are increased, opportunities for rehabilitation and growth are lost and human potential squandered. Addressing the first stage in this process, developing knowledge of the consequences of ABI and how to assess need, is a pre-requisite for change.

Practical implications

An absence of basic underlying knowledge of the consequences of ABI impacts upon assessment and so limits the effectiveness of services. A consequence of this is manifest in the over-representation of people with an ABI to be found in non-specialist settings.


–Little research is undertaken from a social and community perspective into the impact of ABI over the longer term for those who have no contact with specialist services and yet, quite clearly by their use of other services, have unidentified, unrecognised and un-responded to needs.



Holloway, M. (2014), "How is ABI assessed and responded to in non-specialist settings? Is specialist education required for all social care professionals?", Social Care and Neurodisability, Vol. 5 No. 4, pp. 201-213.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles