Brain injury : the impact on family members living with a brain injured adult and implications for rehabilitation services
Chapter One: This chapter reviews the relevant literature published since 1990 that has addressed the psychological impact both progressive and acute brain injury can have upon spouses of patients. The papers reviewed suggest that psychological strain or burden experienced by spouse carers is associated with a number of factors irrespective of illness type. A number of methodological limitations of the studies reviewed are discussed along with implications for clinical practice. Further research is required that explores the experience of family members to ascertain the best way forward for rehabilitation services in terms of providing family orientated interventions and support. Chapter Two: Chapter two presents a study that explores the views, beliefs and experiences of brain injury rehabilitation professionals on working collaboratively with families. Using a qualitative research approach, two focus groups were conducted with a total of 12 professionals from a range of disciplines. Focus groups were analysed using thematic analysis. A number of salient themes emerged that reflected the narrative collected. Implications for brain injury rehabilitation services and suggestions for further research are made. Chapter Three: Chapter three presents an empirical study that explores children's experiences of parental brain injury. Using a qualitative research approach interviews were conducted with twelve participants aged between 11 and 18 years living at home with a brain-injured parent. Interview transcripts were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). A number of themes emerged that reflected the narrative collected. A preliminary model of adaptation to parental brain injury is proposed. Implications for brain injury rehabilitation services in terms of addressing the needs of children and suggestions for further research are discussed. Chapter Four: This chapter documents the first author's experience of conducting the two empirical papers presented in chapters two and three. Specifically it highlights a number of ethical and methodological concerns associated to conducting focus groups and interviewing children. The first author's personal account and reflections in relation to each of the two research studies are also presented.