Life after Injury
A rehabilitation manual for the injured and their helpers

Liz Hobbs
Susan McDonough
Ann O’Callaghan

Publisher: Third World Network
Year Published: 2002
No. of pages: 593
ISBN: 983-9747-77-0


US$20.00 for First World countries
US$10.00 for Third World countries

Life After Injury is a practical handbook for people who wish to help those injured as a result of accidents, landmines or armed conflict. It is written from extensive experience involving work with village health workers, injured and disabled people, their families and communities. The aim is to build sustainable local capacity for rehabilitation at village level in the poorest communities of the world.

The book has far more than physical therapy and rehabilitation. It discusses the full range of understanding and help that severely injured people need to overcome trauma and go on to rebuild their lives with their families and communities. The down-to-earth approach covers a wide range of related problems and needs. These extend from the event of the injury, through emergency care, hospitalization (when possible), learning to do daily activities and finally reintegration into the community. The book also promotes the use of low-cost appropriate technology, splints and aids, training, teamwork and community education.

Life After Injury is remarkably broad in scope. It uses numerous illustrations and photos and its clear and simple style of writing can be understood by the community-level rehabilitation worker or village health worker. At the same time, the book provides sufficient detail and depth that fully trained physio and occupational therapists, doctors and nurses will also benefit greatly from it.

In this book you will find:


What is rehabilitation?
Families and friends
Bringing rehabilitation to the people
Working out what to do


Section 1 - Early rehabilitation

The first seven days
Long-term care

Section 2 - More problems after injury

Pain and emotional problems
Pressure sores
Infections of joints and bone

Section 3 - Rehabilitation of specific injuries

Spinal cord injury (SCI)
Brain damage
Nerve injuries

Section 4 - Healing and rehabilitation of fractures

Care of fractures
Plaster casts
What to do for people in plaster casts
What to do for people in traction
What to do for people in slings


Section 5 - Solving problems with moving and doing activities

How to find solutions
Finding the causes of a movement problem

Section 6 - Splints

Introduction to splints
Choosing which arm splints to use
Choosing which leg splints to use
Using splinting materials
Instructions for making splints

Section 7 - Moving around and daily activities

Walking, mobility aids and equipment
Finding ways to do daily activities


Returning to work
Encouraging positive community attitudes
Making places accessible


Setting up a rehabilitation programme
Your work as a rehabilitation worker
Sharing rehabilitation skills
Advice for expatriate trainers


Record forms
Normal movement
Special or difficult words

About the authors

The authors - Liz Hobbs, Sue McDonough and Ann O’Callaghan - are Australian physio and occupational therapists. Between them they have visited or worked in rehabilitation programmes in Cambodia, Ethiopia, Sudan, India, Pakistan, Mexico, Thailand, Papua New Guinea and Malaysia, as well as in Australia with both indigenous and non-indigenous people. Their combined experience includes community-based rehabilitation models, cross-cultural training in acute care, medium and long-term rehabilitation, vocational training, low-cost appropriate technology, research and community development.

18.4 x 25.3 cm, 593 pages with over 1,000 illustrations and photos, glossary, index and useful appendices. Paperback only. ISBN 983-9747-77-0

Please contact either of the following to order your copy of Life After Injury:

Liz Hobbs
P O Box 530
Goolwa, South Australia
Fax: 61 8 8555 1250
Tel: 61 8 8555 1250

Third World Network
131 Jalan Macalister, 10400 Penang, Malaysia
Fax: 60 4 2264505
Tel: 60 4 2266159


‘The beauty of Life After Injury is that the authors encourage rehabilitation workers and therapists - in partnership with the injured person and relatives - to sensitively yet systematically evaluate the person’s full range of needs, fears, hopes, and possibilities. Family, and community understanding and support, along with consideration of local and cultural factors, are celebrated as integral to this process. In sum, Life After Injury is a goldmine of comprehensive information for assessing needs and carrying out rehabilitation in difficult circumstances in a way that preserves the dignity and caring human touch of all concerned.’

David Werner
Author of Where There Is No Doctor, Helping Health Workers Learn, Disabled Village Children and Nothing About Us Without Us.

‘Based on the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion’s premise that “Health is created and lived by people within the settings of their everyday life; where they learn, work, play and love” and in the tradition of community-based rehabilitation approaches, Life After Injury promotes recovery in the broadest sense - as more than just survival or even access to basic rehabilitation. It encompasses the notions of rebuilding lives and injured and disadvantaged people being able to provide for self and family and fully participate in community life.

Ann A Wilcock
Author of numerous publications including Occupational Perspectives of Health and Occupation for Health: A Journey from Self Health to Prescription.

‘Doctors and surgeons often consider the job complete when victims of injury are carried out of the operating theatre - and definitely so when the patients have left the orthopaedic center with a prosthesis on. Twenty years of trauma care and surgery in war zones and minefields in the South has taught us that they are wrong: a lot of trauma victims in poor communities suffer from chronic pain and a sense of worthlessness - so much so that they simply cannot use an artificial limb - much less provide for their family. In fact, poverty is as much a trauma as the injury itself. This book tells how the victim, with his family and with YOU, can find strategies to cope. The book is a MUST for anybody - graduate and non-graduate - involved in trauma care.’

Hans Husum MD
Author of Save Lives, Save Limbs and War Surgery Field Manual.