Psychology research seminar – 28 November 2012
Posted by David Watson
Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Psycho-educational Intervention (Phase 2) for Military Personnel who Report Persistent Symptoms Following a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI).
Date: Wednesday 28th November 2012
Speaker: Helen Brunger
Abstract: Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is a common neurologic condition also known as ‘concussion’. Together with PTSD, mTBI has been labelled a ‘signature injury’ of the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan; a result of the substantial rise in the use of improvised explosive devices by insurgent forces. In response to parliamentary concern over the possible long-term effects resulting from deployment related head injuries, in addition to potential under-reporting of such incidents, Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre (DMRC) Headley Court took responsibility for designing and implementing a treatment programme for this population back in 2008. The aim of this four phase treatment programme was, and still is, to identify and treat all military personnel whose symptoms could be attributable to mTBI. To date however, the effectiveness of this programme remains unknown. In this talk I will provide an overview of my PhD work and the four separate studies that together constitute a service evaluation of the psycho-educational element (Phase 2) of this programme. I will present in-depth results from our two recent qualitative explorations; one looking at the experiences of military personnel living with mTBI, and the other looking at their experiences of the intervention. Furthermore, I will discuss my own personal experiences of working with the armed forces and the various obstacles encountered.
Bio: Helen gained a BSc in Psychology from the University of Sheffield before moving to the University of Surrey to study for her Masters degree in Health Psychology. Under the supervision of Professor Jane Ogden, Helen looked at the experiences of homeless ex-servicemen and the problems encountered upon return to ‘Civvy Street’ in her MSc dissertation entitled: ‘‘Stuck in No-Man’s Land’: The Transition from Military to Civilian Life.’ Helen is now in her 3rd year of a PhD at the University of Surrey and is again working with Professor Ogden on this collaborative project with DMRC Headley Court. The research is funded by the charity ‘Help for Heroes’.