Rebuilding Life After Survival: The Impact of Brain Injury on Survivors of Trauma


Kathleen W. Gorman, OTD, OTR/L & Kimberly A. Kohl, MAOL, OTR/L | September 21 | 9:00-10:00 AM

Topic: Healthcare | Knowledge Level: Intermediate, Advanced

Empirical evidence indicates that traumatic brain injury (TBI) is often an undiagnosed consequence of exposure to trauma. There is limited to no research regarding brain injury rates among survivors of human trafficking although substantial evidence is available among similar trauma populations including survivors of domestic violence and refugees. Diagnosing TBI in survivors of trauma proves difficult due to symptom overlap with other diagnoses including dissociation, posttraumatic stress disorder, and substance abuse. Survivors of brain injury experience cognitive, physical and/or psychological symptoms which may impact their participation and independence in daily activities. This presentation aims to provide education on brain function, the symptoms of TBI, impact of TBI on everyday functioning, and screening tools and compensatory strategies utilized in brain injury rehabilitation. Furthermore, this presentation aims to advocate for the expansion of brain injury screening and treatment among survivors of human trafficking.

Presentation Objectives:

·  Discuss the symptoms of brain injury related to or resulting from trauma.

·  Examine the impact of brain injury on daily functioning and quality of life.

·  Specify screening tools/compensatory strategies to integrate into practice.

About the Presenters