Caring : influences and implications
The majority of literature concerning carers of people with acquired brain injury (ABI) concentrates on the negative consequences. Knowledge of post-traumatic growth (PTG) and positive gain from caring is expanding in the literature. The aim of this study was to explore the experience and report of PTG in carers of people with ABI. Chapter 2 looked at the self-report of PTG, positive and negative changes in relation to coping and mental health symptoms. The results of thirty-six carers suggest that carers will report at least one positive change as a result of being a carer. However, a stronger relationship between negative than positive changes for mental health symptoms and maladaptive coping. The experiences of being a wife of someone with ABI were further explored in Chapter 3. Thematic analysis using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was used to analyse interviews of wives’ experiences and report of PTG. The themes identified relate to adjustment, coping and the life domains associated with PTG, in particular to interpersonal relationships and philosophy of life. Consideration of informal carers led to speculation of the motivations of professional carers, including psychological therapists. A literature review (Chapter 1) was conducted of the empirical evidence describing the influence of personality and family of origin on choice of career as a psychological therapist. The results are discussed in relation to methodological limitations, clinical implications and future directions for research. Chapter 4 offers reflections on the process of carrying out research and the impact, particularly of qualitative research, on the researcher. Some clinical implications from Chapters 2 and 3 are expanded to that contained within the chapters.