Dr Karen Hoffman

Head of Trauma Rehabilitation Research

I am a post doc research fellow investigating rehabilitation needs and recovery of trauma patients. 


My initial work at the Centre focused on quantifying rehabilitation needs in relation to injury severity.  This facilitated us to better understand the complex rehabilitation needs of multi-trauma patients. These are often overlooked by condition specific rehabilitation services such as Neurorehabilitation.  I also investigated the long term recovery of trauma patients.  This included 12 month follow up of functional recovery of patients as well as quality-of-life and post traumatic stress symptoms.  Both these projects identified the significant burden experienced by trauma patients in terms of access to appropriate rehabilitation and long term recovery.  These findings led to the work I am currently engaged with.

Rehabilitation Research

I am currently working on several projects in a variety of settings.  As lead for trauma rehabilitation research at the Royal London Hospital, we aim to improve recovery of patients and support their families.  Our research identified a significant absence of support structures and information for trauma patients and families.  In an effort to address some of these concerns locally and nationally, we developed a website called AfterTrauma which provides information and support for patients and families.  This is the only trauma specific website in the UK.  We have future aspirations to develop this into a more interactive site to enable patients to track their recovery.

My role as research lead within the London Trauma System (LTS) Rehabilitation Network allows me to evaluate rehabilitation needs on a much larger scale in one of the largest trauma systems in Europe.  We have several projects planned including a Service Evaluation of Trauma Rehabilitation (SERT) within the LTS.  Locally I contribute to the coordination of rehabilitation within trauma units within the North East London and Essex Trauma Network (NELETN).

I am programme manager for the HQIP National Clinical Audit of Trauma Rehabilitation.  The audit aims to determine the provision, quality and efficiency of specialist rehabilitation services across England and Wales and improve the quality of care for people with complex rehabilitation needs following neurological injury/illness or major trauma.  

I am the chief investigator for the development of a Trauma Rehabilitation Core Set based on the World Health Organisation International Classification of Function Disability and Health (ICF).  The implementation of a Core Set nationally and internationally will enable comparison of outcomes for trauma patients.  Coded ICF categories will define the impairments, function and participation of patients and also describe environmental aspects and psychosocial issues impacting on recovery.  These data will allow greater understanding of specific rehabilitation priorities and outcomes of trauma patients not previously characterised.

I continue to be involved clinically and provide training and education to occupational therapists and physiotherapist focused on rehabilitation of  physical and cognitive impairments following injury or illness.


email: k.hoffman@qmul.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0) 203 594 0721


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