Karen Beaulieu, Senior Lecturer from The University of Northampton’s School of Health, was presented with the research award to continue her work with people following brain injury.
Attending the recent College of Occupational Therapists Annual Conference, Karen was presented with the Irwin Mitchell Research Award by the UK Occupational Therapy Research Foundation. The award was made in recognition of Karen’s commitment to ‘restoring life through occupational therapy involvement’.
I am delighted to have received this award, which I will use to continue my PhD research looking at the factors which impact brain injured people returning to paid work. Following this I hope to develop a theoretical framework for return to paid work rehabilitation.
There are around 500,000 people in the UK living with long-term brain injury disabilities. Men are known to be two to three times more likely to have an injury than women, increasing to five times more likely between the ages of 15 and 29 years old.
Brain injury usually results in varied combinations and severity of physical, cognitive and behavioural difficulties. This often takes place while individuals are of a working age. However, very few individuals return to paid work at the same level, for the same pay or for the same hours once they have suffered a brain injury – it would be great to be able to contribute something that would help.