Peer Support to Enhance Social and Emotional Self-Management Following Acquired Brain Injury Rehabilitation: Design of a Pre-post Study With Process Evaluation

M. Baumgartner-Dupuits*, S.J.S. Sep, J. Verbunt, H. Bosma, J. van Eijk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Specialized rehabilitation following acquired brain injury provides intensive multidisciplinary treatment to individuals with complex disabilities for optimizing recovery and supporting a safe transition to the community. Post-specialist rehabilitation, patients and caregivers have reported a need for support. We present the design of an implementation study to evaluate a new self-management support service for individuals with acquired brain injury and their caregivers. Methods: This is a pre-post intervention study with a mixed-method design. The study population comprises individuals aged >= 18 years with acquired brain injury living independently following specialized rehabilitation in the Southern part of the Netherlands. All participants receive a post-rehabilitation support service. The support service consists of several house visits by a peer support volunteer in the first weeks after specialized rehabilitation treatment. The peer support volunteers are trained according to an adapted version of the previously developed Self-Management Support (SMS) program. The SMS program is directed at improving social and emotional self-management. Patient outcomes are assessed by questionnaire pre-, directly post-, and 6 months post-intervention. The primary patient outcome measure is self-efficacy. Secondary outcomes are perceived autonomy, quality of life, and psychological well-being. A process evaluation will be performed to gain insight into barriers and facilitators for the implementation of peer-led SMS by combining both quantitative, questionnaire data and qualitative data derived from focus groups with peer supporters and patients. In a workshop with relevant stakeholders, possibilities for dissemination and sustainability will be explored. Discussion: This paper describes the design of a practice-based study on feasibility, barriers, and facilitators to the implementation of a home-based, peer-led self-management support intervention for patients with acquired brain injury. We will quantitatively and qualitatively evaluate the change in relevant patient outcomes pre- and post-intervention and the barriers and facilitators related to the implementation of the intervention. Following a positive evaluation, the final stage of the study aims to facilitate deployment and utilization of the intervention.
Original languageEnglish
Article number647773
Number of pages8
JournalFrontiers in Neurology
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jul 2021


  • self-management
  • SMS
  • peer support
  • rehabilitation
  • acquired brain injury
  • self-efficacy
  • follow-up

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