Setting out our research priorities 2020-2024




Acquired Brain Injury Ireland has committed to engaging and supporting brain injury research and building the brain injury research community in Ireland in its Strategic Plan 2019-2024. As part of our growth and development we have set out our research priorities for the next number of years. We want to play a much more active role in determining the research we support and setting the research agenda.


  1. Conducting a literature review
  2. Completing a scoping review of the past 5 years research projects we supported.
  3. Engaging and consulting with key stakeholders internally and externally on the research priorities.
  4. Completing a thematic analysis of findings and engaging in a consensus building process.
  5. Validating the consensus with key stakeholders (people with ABI and family members).
  6. Writing up the final report and producing a lay summary in the form of an animation video.
Acquired Brain Injury Ireland putting brain injury survivors and their families at the centre of our research

Involving people with brain injury and their families:

In setting out our research priorities, there was a recurring theme through all stages of the project – the need to put people with brain injury and their families at the core of our research work. It was identified that this group must play a vital role not only as active research subjects but be involved and influencing the research project from the design stage right through to how the research results are delivered and communicated.

The research projects we support will have to show evidence of their Public and Patient Involvement (PPI Plan) and give assurances to the Research Ethic Committee that they are involving people with ABI and families in every stage of their research proposal.


Our 4 research priorities:

Having completed all the stages of the project, the following four priority themes have been agreed:

Theme 1: Effective rehabilitation
Theme 2: Access to brain injury services and the rehabilitation pathway;
Theme 3: The impact of brain injury;
Theme 4: The facts and figures.

There is no ranking in the four themes and they are all interlinked. These themes now form the core part of our research work for this strategic phase of our organisation.


You can read and download the full report on the Research Prioritisation Exercise to identify Our Priority Research Themes 2020-2024 at the link below:


Download Report

Acquired Brain Injury Ireland theme 1: Effective Rehabilitation

Theme 1: Effective Rehabilitation

Under the first theme effective rehabilitation we want our research to help us improve our knowledge and understanding of what constitutes effective rehabilitation for the person with brain injury.

This would include areas of research on the role of the interdisciplinary nature of neuro-rehabilitation; the nature of the expertise and specialist clinical knowledge; developing core outcome sets and improving our understanding of outcome measurement tools; specific interventions in all the clinical therapy areas including psychology, occupational therapy, social work, physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, case management.

Acquired Brain Injury Ireland research priorities - Access to Services

Theme 2: Access to Services

Under the second theme, access to brain injury services and the rehabilitation pathway, we want the research we support to help is to understand how we can improve access to rehabilitation services as well as have a comprehensive understanding of what constitutes an effective rehabilitation pathway in an Irish context.

This includes finding ways to address the gaps in rehabilitation services; examining the regional and geographical differences; developing models of service based on need rather than on ‘luck’ or postcode lottery; the impact of waiting times for services on the rehabilitation outcomes and the reasons for waiting times; the role played by technology (hi-tech and low-tech) in the improving access to services; improving our understanding of the range of community services, in particular living arrangements for the long term; researching the rehabilitation pathway in an Irish context.

Acquired Brain Injury Ireland research priorities: Impact of Brain Injury

Theme 3: Impact of Brain Injury 

The third priority is the impact of brain injury. We want our research to tell us more about the impact that having a brain injury has on the individual, their family and participation in our society in general. This includes areas such as:

  • Individual impact: including areas such as mental health, communications, relationships, behaviour, mood; the long-term impact including ageing with an ABI, loneliness and isolation and quality of life.
  • Family impact: to including examining how to make lifelong adjustments; the need for information, education, training, and support; maintaining good mental health.
  • Impact on participation in society including areas such as community integration; access to employment opportunities; increased public awareness; transport and housing.
Acquired Brain Injury Ireland research priorities: Facts and Figures

Theme 4: Facts and Figures

The fourth and final priority is around brain injury facts and figures. We want research to provide data and information on the brain injury population in Ireland, to quality their needs and make a case for investment in the necessary services across the country.

There are currently so many gaps in the data on brain injury in Ireland and we need that data to prove the needs are there. We want to have data that looks at the cost effectiveness of rehabilitation services as well as value for money studies.

We need to know how many people there are with brain injury in Ireland; how many people experience a brain injury annually and what are their rehabilitation needs in quantifiable terms. We need data that helps make the case for greater investment for rehabilitation. We also need data to make the case to government and policy makers to act and invest.


Information for researchers

If you are interested in working with us on a research project the following are our criteria. You must:


  1. Be engaging in research work at postgraduate level (Masters, doctoral or post-doctoral).
  2. Be registered as a student or work in an Irish university (with some exceptions for those registered/working in universities outside Ireland).
  3. Clearly illustrate how your research fits our strategic research priorities.
  4. Have a fully developed Public and Patient Involvement Plan in your research proposal.
  5. Apply and have approval from the ABI Ireland Research Ethics Committee (as well as REC approval from your institution).

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  • Your information will only be used to respond to your query. Please review our privacy statement which provides information on how we use and process your data.

Acquired Brain Injury Ireland is a business name of Peter Bradley Foundation Limited. Company No. 334659 Reg Charity No. CHY 14289

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