Optimising use of everyday technology for children and adolescents with acquired brain injury

Research Opportunity
PhD students
Department / Centre
Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Sarah Knight sarah.knight@mcri.edu.au 9936 6577 Personal web page
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
A/Prof Adam Scheinberg adam.scheinberg@mcri.edu.au 9345 5623 Personal web page

Summary Optimising use of everyday technology for children and adolescents with acquired brain injury

Project Details

Acquired brain injury (ABI) is a common cause of childhood disability. In children and adolescents, among the most common causes of ABI are traumatic brain injury, stroke, infection, tumour, hypoxia, and encephalitis. Many children with ABI experience long-term cognitive, communication, physical and social difficulties that are associated with reduced independence, participation and overall quality of life. Everyday technologies, such as smartphones and tablets, have great potential as popular, multifunction tools to support independence and participation following acquired brain injury (ABI). Almost all Australian adolescents and two-thirds of primary school aged children now own their own tablet or smartphone. However, there is evidence that everyday technologies such as these are under-utilised in rehabilitation contexts despite growing evidence to support their use as effective assistive devices across a range of disabilities. There is a distinct need to better understand current patterns of use, as well as health professional and caregiver familiarity, skill, knowledge and confidence in supporting children and adolescents with ABI to use technology to optimise independence and participation in everyday life.

This project will use a mixed methods approach to: (1) better understand how children and adolescents with ABI use everyday technologies, (2) identify the facilitators and barriers to supporting the use of everyday technologies in a rehabilitation context, and (3) examine if and how rehabilitation professionals and caregivers support and teach children to use of everyday technology in their home, school and community as part of their rehabilitation. This data will be used in the co-design of a health professional and family training package to optimise the use of everyday technology for children and adolescents with ABI. This project will fit under the broader umbrella of the MCRI ABI integrated knowledge translation program. Students would need a strong academic track record and interest in rehabilitation and technology is desirable.

Faculty Research Themes

Child Health

School Research Themes

Child Health in Medicine

Research Opportunities

PhD students
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.

Department / Centre


Research Node

Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute

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