After Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), some individuals find their behaviour changes and becomes harder to control, particularly aggression, agitation, lack of initiation and sexual inappropriateness. These actions are referred to as Behaviours of Concern (BOC), and a new clinical intervention is being trialled with the objective of reducing their impact.

This research will change the way that these behaviours are commonly understood, and in the support offered to individuals who experience them.

Traditionally, the management of BOC has focused on dealing with these behaviours (and their consequences) after they occur.

Now, it seems that there may be benefit in approaching BOC by developing positive interventions to reduce the likelihood of this behaviour developing in the first place.

A research team has been exploring this idea, led by Professor Jennie Ponsford of Monash University and Professor Malcolm Hopwood from the University of Melbourne.

The team collected information from individuals with TBI, and analysed it to identify how various social and environmental factors that influencing the development (or absence) of BOC.

Some of the factors that the researchers have looked at include pre-injury psychiatric and social history, injury details, family/social support, living situation, and therapy/medicinal support.

The findings of this research will be used in the second phase of the project, for which the research team will be joined by Dr Tim Feeney, a leading practitioner of Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) interventions for people with BOC.

During this phase of the research, the team will develop,implement, and evaluate a new BOC intervention.

This intervention will be based on PBS philosophy – a new approach to behaviour support that involves working closely with the individual with TBI to identify and modify factors contributing to their BOC.

It is hoped that, this intervention will alleviate the challenges placed upon individuals with TBI, the people who care for and support them, service organisations, and the wider community.


This research is currently ongoing. Watch this space for updates.