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Getting my life reset Living with an acquired brain injury: The Irish experience

Muldoon, OT and Walsh, RS and Curtin, Mariah and Kinsella, E (2017) Getting my life reset Living with an acquired brain injury: The Irish experience. UNSPECIFIED. ABI Ireland.

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Abstract

n early 2016, Acquired Brian Injury Ireland commissioned the University of Limerick team to complete a report that would allow wider understanding of the impact of acquired brain injury (ABI). The condition is marked by a range of physical, cognitive and behavioural changes that can affect individuals’ lives profoundly subsequent to their injury and as a result many of those affected by ABI cannot return to their pre-injury jobs and roles and face a very different life-course. The following report is the outcome of this effort. It reports on a series of interviews that aimed to capture the impact and experience of brain injury. In order to achieve this, 15 participants were interviewed over the summer and autumn of 2016. All interviews were semi-structured. An interview guide provided a loose structure within which to explore the topics of interest, and participants were prompted to expand on relevant and interesting responses. This qualitative data was recorded and transcribed for later analysis. Here it is reported subsequent to a systematic analysis. Five themes are exposed in the data. These relate to 1) the role of families in supporting those affected by ABI, particularly as a consequence of their often reduced social worlds; 2) the difficulties encountered by those affected by ABI in navigating and securing support services; 3) evidence of the particularly complex needs of those affected by ABI; 4) the role of group activity as a means of social engagement and meaningful doing and 5) adaptation and resilience of those living with brain injury. In the proceeding report we use participants own words to illustrate these issues. The analysis seeks to present a parsimonious overview of the main issues that arise for those living with ABI. Throughout the report, exemplar quotations from the interviews evidence the point being made. In synthesising the shared experiences of participants, this report shines a light on the difficulties experienced by those living with this chronically challenging condition. The report, and its associated recommendations, contributes to a greater understanding of this condition among service providers, policy makers and wider society

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