• Barbara Wilson

    Is one of the most prestigious professional of neuroscience and neurorehabilitation fields. She qualified as a clinical psychologist in 1977 and since 1779 until 2007, when she retired, she has worked in the rehabilitation of patients with brain injury and in the clinical research. She continues to work two days a week with survivors of brain injury First she worked at the Rivermead Rehabilitation Centre in Oxford, and after at Charing Cross Hospital in London and at The University of Southampton. In 1990 she joined the Medical Research Council’s Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge. In 1996 she founded the Oliver Zangwill Centre for Neuropsychological Rehabilitation in Ely and in 1991 she founded the journal “Neuropsychological Rehabilitation”.

    She has published 18 books, 8 tests and over 270 chapters and articles in scientific journals. She has received many honours and awards including  the Ramon y Cahal award from the International Neuropsychiatric Association (2011), the British Psychological Society Lifetime Achievement Award (2008), the Robert L. Moody Prize for Distinguished Initiatives in Brain Injury Research and Rehabilitation (2006)

    • Dear Dr Wilson, why did you decide to work with patients with brain injury?

    I was interested in neuropsychology during my clinical training and once qualified as a clinical psychologist, I worked for two years with children who had severe, developmental learning difficulties, I then moved to Rivermead Rehabilitation Centre in Oxford. On my first day there I knew that brain injury rehabilitation was my field and I would stay there for the rest of my career. I like the mixture of normality and abnormality seen in survivors of brain injury. However impaired people are, they retain their essential  characteristics. They are unlike people with developmental learning difficulties or severe psychiatric disorders having a combination of major problems in some areas in the midst of perfectly normal characteristics in other areas.

    • How would you describe Barbara Wilson?

    I am, a clinician who wants to enable people with disabilities to reduce the impact of their problems on everyday life. I am concerned with the evaluation of rehabilitation and want to determine whether it is our treatment that is effective or whether the change would have occurred anyway. I am also a mother, a bereaved mother and a grandmother. I have just celebrated my golden wedding anniversary to Michael who has always supported me.

    • What was your aim when working in the rehabilitation of patients with brain injury?

    I want to improve their well being and their quality of life. I also want to help families understand what has happened. I want each person to achieve his or her potential

    • What do you think are your main contributions to rehabilitation of patients?

    I have tried to integrate theory and practice and to evaluate what I do. I deal with everyday, practical problems and combine scientific methodology with clinical relevance.

    • In your opinion, what are the main challenges of neuroscience for the next decade?

    One of the main difficulties in rehabilitation is persuading  health care purchasers to fund people to attend rehabilitation programmes. Many of those needing rehabilitation are young, their lives have been saved with great expertise yet, far too often, they are then denied appropriate rehabilitation. There is evidence that rehabilitation is clinically effective and cost effective. Our challenge is to persuade  purchasers of health care the value of this.

    • What is, in your opinion, the main reason to participate in the 2nd International Symposium on Neurorehabilitation (ISON) organised by FIVAN in Valencia?

    To learn from others what is happening in rehabilitation in other parts of the world and to persuade people of the effectiveness of rehabilitation.

    • Thank you very much for your answers. See you in Valencia!