Health, Disability & Compensation Research

Health, Disability & Compensation Research

For general enquiries about TAC Health, Disability and Compensation research please email research@tac.vic.gov.au

Health: Enhances knowledge of the health system and identifies better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat accident related health conditions.
Business Enablement: Research Team

Disability: Advances knowledge of care models, programs and services that improve the quality of life and social and community integration outcomes of clients. Keeps TAC at the forefront of contemporary disability practice.
Business Enablement: Research Team

Compensation: Investigates and monitors the social insurance industry, opportunities with other schemes, government priorities, legislation and policies that influence and can enhance the operation of the TAC.
Business Enablement: Research Team

    Trauma related research:

    The TAC has a long history of financially supporting Victoria’s three trauma data registries.
    These cover:

    - Major trauma cases (Victorian State Trauma Registry (VSTR)) – in partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
    - Hospitalised orthopaedic injury cases (Victorian Orthopaedic Trauma Outcomes Registry (VOTOR))
    - Moderate to severe traumatic brain injury cases (Longitudinal Head Injury Outcomes Study at the Monash Epworth Rehabilitation Research Centre (MERRC))

    VSTR and VOTOR are unique in the world in that they collect long term (up to 2 years) patient reported outcomes for trauma patients.  Overseas trauma registries are now actively seeking to begin collecting long term outcomes using the VSTR as the gold standard model.   MERRC collects outcomes for the admittedly smaller cohort of brain injury cases with follow up to 20 years.

    The TAC and the researchers work collaboratively to develop annual analysis plans for TAC data linked to these registries.  These analyses are important to establish the outcomes of TAC cases in the context of the wider trauma patient population and to enable realistic goal setting and targeting for the TAC.

    The TAC sponsored the Trauma 2017 conference in Melbourne.  A video about the TAC’s trauma related research program prepared for the conference can be viewed below.

    Other useful links:

    Victorian Neurotrauma Initiative (VNI)
    Evidence & Research Reviews

    Assistive technology research

    Assistive technology is an important focus of research for the TAC – our clients’ quality of life can be vastly improved by advances in technology. The following includes a summary of recent research conducted by ISCRR relating to assistive technology.

    Review of current and emerging assistive technologies for reduction of care attendant hours: cost effectiveness, decision making tools and emerging practices

    Assistive technologies have the potential to enhance the independence of people with brain and spinal cord injuries. A review of the evidence of effectiveness of these technologies was commissioned, particularly focused on the ability of assistive technologies to reduce attendance care requirements and increase quality of life. The review identified 33 technologies that were available in 2011 however there was a lack of scientific published evidence of the effectiveness of the technologies for reducing attendant care requirements. As such, clinical effectiveness in this regard could not be established at the time.

    Download: PDF Review of current and emerging assistive technologies for reduction of care attendant hours: cost effectiveness, decision making tools and emerging practices

    Using technology in supported accommodation

    This project aims to build an evidence base of current assistive and mainstream technology use in Victorian Shared Supported Accommodation (beyond those funded by the TAC). A targeted evaluation of technology used in these settings will be undertaken from the perspectives of residents who use these technologies each day, as well as house managers. Gaps and opportunities in technology practice that influence cost of care and resident outcomes will be identified for potential application with TAC clients. Evidence of technology effectiveness in meeting resident needs will be reported, informing scheme practices.

    Download: PDF Using technology in supported accommodation

    Disability and driving: vehicle modifications

    This study aimed to provide a stronger evidence base for the future improvement of vehicle modification prescriptions for drivers with disabilities. The study involved a survey of drivers who regularly used vehicle modifications to understand how they used their vehicles, a literature review of prescription issues, and a study tour to learn from other jurisdictions about their approaches and guidelines. Victoria’s Occupational Therapy Driving Assessors were also engaged to redevelop guidelines around assessing the need for vehicle modifications for drivers with disabilities. As a result of the research, a draft model of practice and set of prescription guidelines were developed.

    Download: PDF Disability and driving: vehicle modifications

    Steady-state visual evoked potential-based brain computer interface

    This study developed a brain-computer interface typewriter able to be integrated into a tablet to allow quadriplegic patients with no hand movement to communicate. The interface converts naturally generated responses from localised brain sources as a result of visual stimulation to communication. The designed methodology (hardware and software) is suitable for implementation on tablet computers, making the system largely inexpensive, portable, and user friendly. Testing of the system resulted in improvements in speed and accuracy, and increasing suitability for other applications.

    Download: PDF Steady-state visual evoked potential-based brain computer interface

    Google Calendar: using technology to increase independence in traumatic brain injury survivors

    Memory loss is common following traumatic brain injury and affects the independence of the person with a traumatic brain injury in doing daily tasks. While traditional strategies such as diaries and lists have proven to be helpful, they are passive in nature. This study examined the feasibility of using Google Calendar to prompt recall of everyday tasks in people with cognitive dysfunction after traumatic brain injury. This study also evaluated clinician use and acceptability of the Google Calendar as an intervention in the Australian community-based rehabilitation setting.

    Download: PDF Google Calendar: using technology to increase independence in traumatic brain injury survivors