Rehabilitation following acquired brain injury: national clinical guidelines

Rehabilitation following acquired brain injury: national clinical guidelines


These guidelines have been developed by a multidisciplinary working party, convened by the British Society of Rehabilitation Medicine and supported by the Clinical Effectiveness and Evaluation Unit of the Royal College of Physicians. It includes contributions from other organisations involved in the care and rehabilitation of patients with brain injury.

The guidelines provide a comprehensive framework for the management of adults with acquired brain injury. They set out the standards required for post-acute rehabilitation and longer-term care which are crucial to reducing morbidity, restoring function and improving participation of brain injured patients, and so improving the quality of life and that of their families.

The guidelines complement those on head injury published by NICE in June 2003. These focused on the first 48 hours after brain injury which are crucial in the management of the pathology. The two sets of guidelines will thus set the standards for the entire spectrum of care following brain injury.

The present guidelines are evidence based, covering not only clinical care but also service provision, and will make a significant contribution to the development of rehabilitation services over the next decade. They have been produced specifically to inform the forthcoming National Service Framework on Long-Term Conditions. The guidelines are available to purchase or download as a pdf.


  • The process of guideline development
  • Background
  • The guidelines
  • Principles and organisation of services
  • Approaches to rehabilitation
  • Carers and families
  • Early discharge and transition to rehabilitation services
  • Inpatient clinical care - preventing secondary complications in severe brain injury
  • Rehabilitation setting and transition phases
  • Rehabilitation interventions
  • Continuing care and support
  • The need for further research
  • Algorithm for early discharge into the community and referral to rehabilitation

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Rehabilitation following acquired brain injury: national clinical guidelines