Systematic treatment descriptions to standardize and evaluate management of fatigue after acquired brain injury (ABI) are lacking. The purpose of this multi-phase qualitative study was to formulate a treatment model for promoting self-management of fatigue in rehabilitation of ABI based on practice-based understandings and routines. The study was conducted in a community-based rehabilitation center in Denmark. The model was defined using the Rehabilitation Treatment Specification System. Phase 1 comprised co-production workshops with five service providers (occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and a neuropsychologist) to elicit preliminary treatment theories. In Phase 2, four case studies were conducted on management of fatigue in vocational rehabilitation. Interviews (n = 8) and treatment log entries (n = 76) were analyzed thematically to specify treatment targets and active ingredients. The treatment model comprised five main components: (i) Knowledge and understanding of fatigue, (ii) Interoceptive attention of fatigue, (iii) Acceptance of fatigue, (iv) Activity management, and (v) Self-management of fatigue. For each component, lists of targets and active ingredients are outlined. In conclusion, management of fatigue includes multiple treatment components addressing skills, habits, and mental representations such as knowledge and attitudes. The model articulates treatment theories, which may guide clinical reasoning and facilitate future theory-driven evaluation research.
- brain injuries
- neurological rehabilitation
- qualitative research
- translational medical research