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Current practices and beliefs regarding supporting dating skills in rehabilitation for Traumatic Brain Injury: A survey study

Exell, R., Hilari, K. ORCID: 0000-0003-2091-4849 & Behn, N. ORCID: 0000-0001-9356-9957 (2021). Current practices and beliefs regarding supporting dating skills in rehabilitation for Traumatic Brain Injury: A survey study. Brain Injury, 35(11), pp. 1358-1370. doi: 10.1080/02699052.2021.1970805


Background: Relationships are important to quality of life after traumatic brain injury (TBI). However, there has been limited research into how to support dating skills or how professionals view this area.

Method: An online 52-item survey was developed and sent to professionals in the UK involved in rehabilitation after TBI. Recruitment was through professional networks, special interest groups and social media.

Results: 125 participants from a range of professions completed the survey. Many agreed that dating skills are important in rehabilitation (81.6%), but fewer (51.2%) reported engaging in this work. Psychologists, SLTs and OTs were identified as well placed to address dating skills. Case managers also appeared aware of this work. Participants reported using a range of activities to address dating skills, including managing disinhibited behavior and teaching interaction skills. Perceived barriers were both personal and professional, including lack of resources and feeling embarrassed.

Conclusion: This study has highlighted an awareness of the importance of dating in brain injury, but professionals face multiple barriers to supporting dating skills. It is possible to draw on recommendations from related areas, including rehabilitation for cognitive communication difficulties and sexual dysfunction with further research to specifically link these areas to dating skills.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2021 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Publisher Keywords: Dating, relationships, rehabilitation, communication, brain injury
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Language & Communication Science
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