Title Development of a common training programme for ABI caregivers
Project Number 505666-LLP-2009-SI-LEONARDO-LMP
Product Final report- Public part
Title Final report- Public part
Project ABI is a project that has been carried out from October 2009 to November 2011. The
overall aim of project ABI has been to build better lives for people with ABI and those
affected by it by improving the quality of care and support given to them. The project has
been the joint contribution of large time and efforts, knowledge and expertise, of 8 project
ABI partners and of additional experts from 5 European countries: Slovenia, France,Hungary, Austria and Belgium.
Acquired brain injury (traumatic brain injury, stroke, brain tumor, etc.) is a significant and
growing health and social concern. Brain injuries are one of the leading causes of death anddisability in the industrialized world. Currently about 12 million Europeans live with disabilitiesresulting from such injuries. Although ABI can cause chronic physical impairments, often theindividual has more disability due to problems with cognition, emotional functioning, and
behaviour in connection with interpersonal relationships, social networks, recreational andvocational activities. The result is frequently a dramatic change in the individual's life-course,profound disruption of the family, and huge medical and related expenses over a lifetime.
Coping with the life-changing consequences of ABI presents great challenges for all
personnel who provide care and assistance to people who have had an ABI, especially in
settings with no special expertise in working with issues related to ABI. Every brain injury is
different. The residual effects are largely “hidden”, and thus less easy to observe. This is wellrecognised to result in misunderstandings and poorer quality of care and support, and thusincreased risk for long-term psychosocial, emotional and behavioural problems, loss of employment, relationship breakdown, low self-esteem, and social isolation for the person, as
well as their family.
During the project´ two years duration the ABI Partnership has developed and tested a basic
training programme, which will provide staff the specific skills, knowledge, attitudes and
responsibilities necessary to offer the highest standard of care and support possible. Thetraining programme is based on commonly defined ABI Basic Learning Outcomes, which are
the learning objectives expected of each participant by the end of the training. The ABI
training programme differs from other brain injury staff training programs. Most training
programs are problem-focused as they emphasise the deficits and difficulties. The ABI
training programme is centred on the individual with ABI and emphasises the approach, theprinciples and values that guide practice. An important part of the ABI training programme isalso understanding the complexity of ABI, developing appropriate intervention strategies to address the presenting challenges and highlighting available resources that may be of use to
staff, persons with ABI and their family members. The ABI Training programme is supportedby the ABI Training Manual which will serve as a resource to assist trainees and the ABIGuidelines which will serve as a resource for trainers to prepare and inform themselves sothat they can run an effective training course.
In order to reach sustainability after the project ending the partners have established a
follow-up project team to continue developing and promoting the ABI training programme.
Partners will concentrate their efforts to implement the training programme into their
Education and training systems and to achieve the promotion and support from appropriate
stakeholders and decision-makers. Dissemination plans for the future are related to furtherincrease the visibility of project results mainly by enforcing the dissemination channelsalready used during the project timeframe. The ABI website (www.abiproject.eu) stillremains at the centre of the project future dissemination plans. It will be hold online for atleast future 5 years. Partners have planned to reuse the knowhow gained during the ABIproject in new EU funded projects.
The ABI project was and is aimed at:
- staff working with persons with ABI in a variety of settings, in different roles at all
levels, especially staff who are new to working with persons with ABI or those who
have an interest and need in learning more about this area,
- community members who come into contact with persons with ABI (attorneys, teachers, employers, etc,),
- service-users and family members.
- atraining needs analysis in partner countries among service providers,
practitioners and service-users, to formally confirm the need for training.
- the definition of a set of common quality standards for ABI training (the ABI Basic Learning Outcomes) with a view to promote a shift from the medical approach to the biopsychosocial approach to care and support.
- the development and piloting of a common training programme for professional staff and othermpersonnel.
- the creation of a Manual for participants at future trainings, and Trainer Guidelines to
improve the effectiveness of training.
- the implementation of the training programme within national training systems.
- the attempt to align the training programme with the NQF´ and the EQF in order to get the ABI certificate recognized across Europe.
- the influence on health and social care policy at national, regional and local
- the promotion and dissemination of the project findings to a broad audience.
- awareness raising regarding the issues around ABI among the general public.
- the building of sustainable international European partnerships.
Area of application
The ABI training programme is predicated on the value that individuals sustaining a brain
injury shall receive superior care and support leading to outcomes that enhance their quality
of life. The ABI training programme will help develop within staff working with persons with
ABI a combination of core knowledge and understanding, skills and attitudes required to
respond to the challenges of care in an effective and appropriate manner. The aim of the ABI training programme is to empower staff and to increase their comfort level when supporting and caring for persons with ABI, which will improve the appeal of working in ABI services. The ABI training programme emphasises a completely different approach than most of existing ABI staff training programs as it will help staff develop a positive approach and an accepting attitude towards persons with ABI.