Author Identifier

Elizabeth Armstrong

ORCID : 0000-0003-4469-1117

Natalie Ciccone

ORCID : 0000-0002-1822-7217

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Primary Health Care Research & Development


Cambridge University Press


School of Medical and Health Sciences




Edith Cowan University - Open Access Support Scheme 2021

National Health and Medical Research Council

Western Australian Department of Health

Royal Perth Hospital Medical Research Foundation

Grant Number

NHMRC Number : 1132468


Armstrong, E., McCoy, K., Clinch, R., Merritt, M., Speedy, R., McAllister, M., . . . Coffin, J. (2021). The development of Aboriginal brain injury coordinator positions: A culturally secure rehabilitation service initiative as part of a clinical trial. Primary Health Care Research & Development, 22, article e49.


Brain injury, resulting from stroke and traumatic brain injury, is a common occurrence in Australia, with Aboriginal people affected at a significant rate and impact felt by individuals, families and communities. Access to brain injury rehabilitation services for Aboriginal people is reported to be often limited, with very little support outside the hospital environment. Our research involving Aboriginal brain injury survivors and their families to date has revealed that people often manage ‘on their own’ following such events. Following recommendations from survivors and their families, the Healing Right Way clinical trial, currently underway in Western Australia, has created the role of Aboriginal Brain Injury Coordinator (ABIC) to assist in navigating information and services, particularly after discharge from hospital. Eight positions for this role have been instigated across metropolitan and rural regions in the state. Healing Right Way’s aim is to enhance rehabilitation services and improve quality of life for Aboriginal Australians after brain injury. The ABIC’s role is to provide education, support, liaison and advocacy services to participants and their families over a six-month period, commencing soon after the participant’s stroke or injury has occurred. This paper outlines the development of this role, the partnerships involved, experiences to date and identifies some facilitators and barriers encountered that may impact the role’s ongoing sustainability. Details of components of the planned full Process Evaluation of Healing Right Way related to the ABIC role and the partnerships surrounding it are also provided. In combination with the trial’s ultimate results, this detail will assist in future service planning and provide a model of culturally secure care for stroke and brain injury services that can also inform other sub-acute and primary care models.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research Themes


Priority Areas

Neuroscience and neurorehabilitation