Severe disability

Neuro Rehabilitation: What Does Severe Disability Mean?

Stuart Browne is a Neuro Rehabilitation specialist from Sydney. He discusses what “severe disability” really means.

This podcast was recorded at the Brain Symposium in March 2023. Scroll down to hear the podcast, see the slides and read the summary.




Severe disability is more common than many realise – about 6% of the Australian population.

Stuart discusses how health is more than simply physical recovery and how it is a multidimensional construct. He covers how permanent disability doesn’t necessarily equate to a poor quality of life. He also discusses the long timespan of recovery, which is often much longer than appreciated.

He specifically discusses “Locked-in Syndrome” and how the survivors have surprisingly positive self-reported health-related quality of life and well-being.

Stuart also covers how severely disabled people face various forms of discrimination.

This blog originally appeared on neuroresus.com and has been republished here with permission.

Oliver Flower, staff specialist in Intensive Care Medicine at Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney | NeuroResus |

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