📢 Early bird deadline EXTENDED 16 January 2024 31 January 2024. Register now

ICC Sydney

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How to Reduce the Impact of Spatial Neglect on Stroke and Brain Injury Rehabilitation

Session outline

This short workshop will provide opportunities to learn the latest evidence on assessment, treatment, and management of spatial neglect in rehabilitation care settings. Attendees will participate in activities, specifically developed to help you improve your clinical practice immediately upon return to work.

Spatial neglect frequently occurs after stroke and other acquired brain injuries however is often misunderstood, under-detected and ultimately under-treated. Spatial neglect is defined widely as failure or slowness to attend, orient, and perceive a stimulus that is presented in the space contralateral or opposite to the brain lesion. Because of the damage to the attention network, individuals with spatial neglect will present with impairments in spatial perception (visual, auditory, tactile and/or proprioception), spatial representation (spatial memory, mental imagery) or motor control (directional movement, mobility, initiation of movement). In other words, spatial neglect is heterogeneous and multi-modal, affecting multiple functional domains. Unless assessed comprehensively and routinely, patients will be either not be diagnosed at all or mis-diagnosed.

Therefore, we will present guidelines for understanding spatial neglect and how to assess for it. This short workshop will include:

  1. a description on the mechanisms contributing to the behaviours seen for both left and right-sided spatial neglect, and the different subtypes that may manifest.
  2. reasons why it is essential to use the same terminology
  3. best assessments (psychometrically speaking) and assessment batteries that may improve the detection of multiple subtypes of spatial neglect.
  4. how to differentiate between conditions that may present similarly such as a visual field defect. This will include practical examples and a comparison chart that can easily be used upon return to work.
  5. how to best collaborate with other professionals to all achieve the same goal- the best patient care possible. For example, we will provide examples of how to communicate that your client has spatial neglect in a medical note, during a team patient-care meeting, and when interacting with a client’s family members.

Learning outcomes

  • Learners will be able to describe the mechanisms of spatial neglect.
  • Learners will be able to describe what spatial neglect is, including all sub-types.
  • Learners will be able to explain why it is important to use the term “spatial neglect” in all communications with team members, medical records, family discussions, etc.
  • Learners will be able to demonstrate administration of at least 2 assessments for spatial neglect, and explain what the Kessler Foundation Neglect Assessment Process is.
  • Learners will be able to describe how to determine spatial neglect from a visual field defect.
  • Learners will be able to share ways to improve their clinical practice, specifically assessing for spatial neglect, once back to work.

Target audience

  • Allied health
  • Medical practitioners
  • Students
  • Trainees
  • Nursing staff