The Use of Narratives to Identify Characteristics Leading to a Productive Life Following Acquired Brain Injury Purpose To determine the factors leading to successful recovery and productive lifestyles after acquired brain injury (ABI). Method Qualitative investigation examined semistructured interviews of 31 survivors of ABI. Thematic analysis followed a phenomenological approach and revealed 4 major themes and 28 subthemes in the interviews. Four participants stood ... Research Article
Research Article  |   November 01, 2009
The Use of Narratives to Identify Characteristics Leading to a Productive Life Following Acquired Brain Injury
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Michael R. Fraas
    University of New Hampshire, Durham
  • Margaret Calvert
    University of New Hampshire, Durham
  • Contact author: Michael Fraas, University of New Hampshire, 151 Hewitt Hall, 4 Library Way, Durham, NH 03824. E-mail: michael.fraas@unh.edu.
Article Information
Special Populations / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Traumatic Brain Injury / Research Articles
Research Article   |   November 01, 2009
The Use of Narratives to Identify Characteristics Leading to a Productive Life Following Acquired Brain Injury
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2009, Vol. 18, 315-328. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2009/08-0008)
History: Received February 20, 2008 , Revised July 15, 2008 , Accepted April 8, 2009
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2009, Vol. 18, 315-328. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2009/08-0008)
History: Received February 20, 2008; Revised July 15, 2008; Accepted April 8, 2009
Web of Science® Times Cited: 12

Purpose To determine the factors leading to successful recovery and productive lifestyles after acquired brain injury (ABI).

Method Qualitative investigation examined semistructured interviews of 31 survivors of ABI. Thematic analysis followed a phenomenological approach and revealed 4 major themes and 28 subthemes in the interviews. Four participants stood out as exemplars of the themes embodied by all the participants in this investigation. Quotes from each are used to highlight the prevailing themes.

Results The following 4 major themes emerged from the interviews: development of social support networks, grief and coping strategies, acceptance of the injury and redefinition of self, and empowerment.

Conclusions The issues raised in these interviews may serve to inspire other survivors and provide them with hope and motivation as they progress through the recovery process. Suggestions on how clinicians can help to facilitate this process are discussed.

Acknowledgments
This project was funded in part by a generous grant from The Beaumont Foundation of America. The authors would like to thank The Krempels Brain Injury Foundation and its members for their participation in and support of this research.
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