The consistent use of Active Support by staff in supported accommodation services has been shown to lead to better quality of life outcomes for people with intellectual disability regardless of the level of disability (Bigby & Beadle-Brown, 2016). Active Support gives prominence to staff enabling service users to be engaged in meaningful activity and social relationships. It also provides the foundations for positive behaviour support. Although, some supported accommodation services include both people with intellectual disability and neurotrama, research has not investigated staff use of Active Support in working with people with neurotrauma or issues associated with its implementation.
This project aimed to explore the applicability of Active Support in supported accommodation services for people with neurotrauma, and the effectiveness of this model of staff practice in improving quality of life outcomes for this group. It is an initial step in building an evidence base about the types of staff practices, team work, and practice leadership that contribute to good quality of life outcomes for people with neurotrama living in supported accommodation.
The key research questions were;
- Is Active Support applicable as a staff practice with people with high and complex needs following neurotrauma?
- Can Active Support be implemented in supported accommodation services for people with high and complex needs following neurotrauma?
- What factors influence the adoption and embedding of Active Support in these settings?
This exploratory study used mixed methods to collect data about the quality of staff practice and service user outcomes before and after staff were trained in Active Support, and the perceptions of service users, family members, staff and managers about implementation of Active Support. It was conducted in three supported accommodation services in metropolitan Melbourne for people with high and complex needs associated with neurotrama.