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Research on: Getting my life reset. Living with an acquired brain injury: The Irish experience

ABI Ireland launched our research report 'Getting my life reset. Living with an acquired brain injury: The Irish experience' in June 2017.   The research was conducted by Professor Orla Muldoon and her team from the University of Limerick.  The report is an in-depth study on people's lived experience of brain injury in Ireland. It provides a valuable insight into living life with a brain injury, illustrates the challenges people face with life altering, traumatic change and how they strive to live a meaningful life of their own choosing in the aftermath.  It illuminates the barriers faced, the lack of services and the difficulties experienced in trying to get access to services that are there. Click here to download the report.
Getting my life reset report cover

Research on: Caregiver burden & distress in families with ABI in Ireland

ABI Ireland’s Senior Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Brian Waldron together with Dr. Joanne O’Halloran, Clinical Psychologist, HSE Sligo Leitrim Mental Health Service engaged in research on ABI caregiver health and wellbeing. Their research concluded that family members of individuals with ABI are a population at risk of anxiety and depression.
They also experience significant burden relating to their caregiver role. Rehabilitation programmes needs to take into consideration the effects of the brain injury on the whole family and provide families with skills necessary for successful adoption post-injury. Download their poster presented at the Care Alliance Carer Research Conference in UCD in August 2017 here.

Our Research Statement

ABI Ireland is strategically committed to supporting research that generates an evidence base and advances knowledge and understanding to inform service developments, ensure best practice and engage in effective policy advocacy. It does so in a range of ways including funding external research, engaging in research internally, directly commissioning research to inform policy development and facilitating, where appropriate, the active participation of people using our services and their families in research projects. See below for more information on current research projects.


ABI Ireland wishes to support and facilitate new research but it also has a responsibility to ensure that the rights and interests of people with ABI and their families are protected and upheld. Therefore, the organisation has in place structures to support research process including a Research Committee and an Ethics Committee. The former makes decisions in relation to the type of research projects ABI Ireland will support and the latter provides ethical approval to the researcher for the specific research project.

ABI Ireland Supported Research Projects

Memory and ABI

Dr. Elaine Kinsella is a post-doctoral researcher in the University of Limerick (Centre for Social Research Issues). She is conducting research looking at creating community re-integration rehabilitation programmes into the future. She is working with people with ABI in the ABI Ireland Mid-west region. The research is funded by the Irish Research Council (Enterprise Partnership Scheme) and ABI Ireland. Dr. Kinsella’s two year research project will be an important piece in helping to get a better understanding of how people with ABI can better re-integrate back into their families and communities.

Social identity and ABI

Dr. Stephen Walsh has just completed his three year PhD research in the University of Limerick.  Stephen’s research focused on exploring the issue of social identity and ABI to advance an integrated model which combines social psychological and neuropsychological approaches to understanding ABI.  He accessed people with ABI through ABI Ireland’s Mid-west services.  He received a grant from the Irish Research Council.  Gaining a better understanding of how people with an ABI makes sense of who they are in a social context is an important factor in the rehabilitation process.  Here’s a link to one of Stephen’s publications from his research.

Cognitive Rehabilitation

Carol Rogan is currently working on a research project through Maynooth University, Department of Psychology. Her research involves an examination of the effectiveness of a Cognitive Group intervention on cognitive and psychosocial outcomes following ABI. Research participants are those who have signed up to complete ABI Ireland’s 12-week Cognitive Programme.  The research involves the participants completing some neuropsychological tests (for attention, memory and executive functioning) and questionnaires (examining distress, satisfaction with life, community integration and knowledge of brain injury). Results are then compared with those from a control group who have not yet completed the Cognitive Programme, to determine if there are any positive effects for those completing the programme. It is hoped that the findings will provide supporting evidence for the effectiveness of the Cognitive Programme and provide an opportunity for investigating alternative cognitive interventions for individuals with an ABI.