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Research project


Status: Ongoing project

An implementation project that integrates outpatient rehabilitation and community patient support to improve aftercare for patients with acquired brain injury.

What we do

About our project

Many people with acquired brain injury (ABI) experience difficulties in reintegration into their social life after discharge from the rehabilitation center. It is also known that people with ABI do not meet the Dutch physical activity guidelines; they have lower physical activity levels than healthy people and they have difficulty maintaining their physical fitness level reached during rehabilitation. An inactive lifestyle may lead to persistent complaints, such as fatigue, anxiety or depression, and may result in a poor health-related quality of life (HR-QoL).

To improve aftercare for patients with ABI receiving outpatient rehabilitation, aimed at promoting an active lifestyle to prevent persistent complaints after ABI and poor HR-QoL, by
- strengthening the cooperation of the rehabilitation center with the network of patient support organizations for people with ABI in the Rotterdam region, ABI prevention centres/fitness locations, and the association of sports locations in the area,
- integrating standard outpatient rehabilitation and community patient support by implementing the ABI-Motion aftercare program, and
- evaluation of the implementation process and feasibility of the program

This project is supported by a grant from the Dutch Brain Foundation.

Our research focus

The ABI-Motion program is an aftercare program developed for patients with ABI to promote an active lifestyle after outpatient rehabilitation discharge. The program integrates standard outpatient rehabilitation with a community patient support program, which consists of 4 elements: 1) brain education, 2) a joint therapy session with a physical/ occupational/ movement therapist and a buddy from a patient support organization, 3) a community buddy program towards physical activity and exercise/sport participation in the home environment and 4) follow-up by the rehabilitation physician.

Study design
This is a care improvement project using a mono-center prospective cohort with a pre-post implementation design and a mixed-methods approach: both quantitative and qualitative methods are used to examine the process of implementation and the feasibility of the program in outpatient rehabilitation and to explore outcomes of the ABI-Motion program.


Erasmus University: Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management

Rijndam Rehabilitation


Rotterdam Sport Support

NL Actief

Our team

Majanka Heijenbrok-Kal, PhD, assistant professor

Lianne de Vries, post-doc researcher

Rita van den Berg-Emons, PhD, associate professor

Erik Grauwmeijer, MD, PhD, rehabilitation physician

Hans Bussmann, PhD, associate professor


Contact us

Majanka Heijenbrok-Kal: m.heijenbrok@erasmusmc.nl

Lianne de Vries: e.a.devries@erasmusmc.nl