Coventry University trial to help those with brain injuries overcome intimacy issues - The Coventry Observer

Coventry University trial to help those with brain injuries overcome intimacy issues

Coventry Editorial 5th Dec, 2022   0

A NEW trial led by Coventry University will aim to help those with long-term brain injuries overcome relationship and intimacy issues.

The trial, known as HOPE4ABI is being hosted by University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust (UHCW) and led by the university’s Dr Hayley Wright after they were awarded over £250,000.

The team will co-develop a new ‘peer support’ intervention with and for people with an acquired brain injury (ABI), with the goal being to enable people to help each other online and find ways to manage personal issues.

The trial was based on the Hope Programme, which allows those with long-term conditions to improve their mental health and gives those in similar situations the chance to discuss worries and problems with one another.




Someone in the UK sustains an ABI every 90 seconds.

Dr Wright said: “Those in the Hope Programme feel like a burden has been lifted by sharing their concerns with others who are ‘in the same boat’.


“We believe this model can help people to open up about relationship and intimacy issues that are very common after ABI.

“For many people, an ABI can cause problems with physical, emotional, mental, and social well-being.

“In combination, these problems can put a strain on intimate relationships, and affect sexual well-being in general.

“Sexual well-being is important for adults, but it can be difficult to talk about with doctors.

“This programme provides the opportunity for people with brain injuries to discuss their intimacy concerns with others going through a similar experience.”

Half of those taking part in the trial will be randomly assigned to have support from peers and trained facilitators while the rest will be in a control group.

Dr Wright added: “We will be running the trial for six months to see how many people are referred by the NHS, how many can be reached via social media, whether they like the HOPE4ABI intervention, and if they are happy with the research trial in general.”

The trial will run from now until October 2024.

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