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STEPS Program

A major state-wide service development initiative aimed at establishing a sustainable model of self managed support networks for people with ABI

People with ABI often experience substantial decline in psychosocial, functional, community and social outcomes after hospital discharge

Self management programs have emerged as a promising avenue for improving outcomes among people with chronic illness and disability

The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health suggests the improvement of environmental resources such as social support systems will have significant effects on individual outcomes following injury

People with ABI, family members, community service providers

Key Features
Stakeholder consultation in planning and implementing appropriate models of self managed support networks as well as associated resources

Implementation and evaluation of self managed support networks state-wide

Initially externally funded by the Pathways Home Program through the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing

Recurrent funding was received in July 2008 form Queensland Health enabling STEPS to continue as an ongoing ABIOS service.

Research/Evaluation Strategies
Evaluation outsourced to the Centre for Work Leisure and Community Research, Disability, Community and Vocational Rehabilitation Griffith University

Evaluation using mixed qualitative and quantitative methodology to explore inputs, processes and outcomes across a range of stakeholder groups including people with ABI, their family members and friends, rehabilitation service providers, community health providers and other community representatives

Evaluation of health, psychosocial and environmental outcomes for people with ABI and their families

Evaluation of referral patterns, resource availability and utilisation, knowledge of ABI and self managed support networks, self efficacy in providing support to people with ABI and their families

Evaluation of community awareness of self managed support networks and ABI

Outputs and Outcomes
Theoretically based model of self managed networks

Group intervention delivered state-wide including print resources to support the intervention

Development of an open social support group in locations state-wide

Establishment of a process for the development of informal self managed support networks accompanying facilitators guide

Leader training and manuals and associated program resources

Development of state-wide identity for self management and support after AB


Turner, B., Kennedy, A., Kendall, M., & Muenchberger, H. (2014). Supporting the growth of peer-professional workforces in healthcare settings: An evaluation of a targeted training approach for volunteer leaders of the STEPS Program. Disability and Rehabilitation, 36(14), 1219-1226.

Muenchberger, H., Kennedy, A., & Kendall, E. (2013). Community leaders within a brain injury self-management program: A valuable resource (pp. 227-242). In H. Muenchberger,

Last updated: 7 September 2017