Moderate to Severe ABI

Approximately 10% of ABIs are considered moderate injuries and 10% are severe. Though the numbers of people who sustain moderate to severe injuries are smaller than those who have concussion/mTBI, this usually involves more damage within the brain, and can result in longer unconsciousness and even coma.

Moderate to severe injury usually means a greater degree of cognitive, physical and psychosocial consequences for the individual. The significant changes in the person’s abilities can last a lifetime. Longer time in hospital, the need for rehabilitation to maximize the individual’s function in their daily life and ongoing supports are often required.

ONF addresses moderate to severe injury within the context of acute care, rehabilitation and community participation.  

ONF supported projects


Some of the projects and activities ONF has developed in this area include:

Clinical Practice Guideline for the Rehabilitation of Adults with Moderate to Severe TBI ONF is working with partner, Institut national d’excellence en santé et en services sociaux (INESSS). Together they are guiding the development and implementation of a clinical practice guideline (CPG) for the rehabilitation of adults with moderate to severe TBI in Ontario and Quebec.

Released in early October 2016, the guidelines provide recommendations for front-line clinicians, program coordinators and managers working in rehabilitation settings, or providing TBI rehabilitation in acute care facilities. They can also be of use for community-based rehabilitation, within organizations or for rehabilitation provided in home environments and community within the context of third party funding. Click here for more information on the project.


Acquired Brain Injury Evidence-Based Reviews (ABIEBR)

ONF has supported ABIEBR since 2004. Previously called ERABI, this collaboration involves a team of healthcare practitioners and researchers conducting a review of rehabilitation interventions and research literature to improve care for people with ABI.

Recognized internationally, this project is a cornerstone of the ONF ABI program and is focused on published literature  to make conclusions about the quality of research and its use for practice. The work of ABIEBR has led to the development of clinical practice guidelines as well as helped identify research gaps. For more information, see the ABIEBR website.


Substance Use and Brain Injury (SUBI)

ONF has helped to bring together ABI and addictions professionals to create the SUBI Community of Practice. This program educates professionals working with clients who have a brain injury and a substance use problem. The work they are doing helps bridge the professional gaps and approaches, and addresses policy barriers and challenges to client care. More than 500 providers have received training thus far.

Other work they are doing includes screening of people with substance use problems for a history of ABI and ways to support clients who have both these problems.