Biographical disruption, adjustment and reconstruction of everyday occupations and work participation after mild traumatic brain injury. A focus group study
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionSveen U, Søberg HL, Østensjø S. Biographical disruption, adjustment and reconstruction of everyday occupations and work participation after mild traumatic brain injury. A focus group study. Disability and Rehabilitation. 2016;38(23):2296-2304 https://doi.org/10.3109/09638288.2015.1129445
Purpose: To explore traumatic brain injury (TBI) as a biographical disruption and to study the reconstruction of everyday occupations and work participation among individuals with mild TBI. Methods: Seven focus groups were conducted with 12 women and 8 men (22-60 years) who had sustained mild TBI and participated in a return-to-work programme. Interviews were analysed using qualitative content analysis. Results: Four interrelated themes emerged: disruption of occupational capacity and balance; changes in self-perceptions; experience of time; and occupational adjustment and reconstruction. The meaning of the impairments lies in their impact on the individual’s everyday occupations. The abandonment of meaningful daily occupations and the feeling of not recognising oneself were experienced as threats to the sense of self. Successful integration of the past, present and future was paramount to continuing life activities. The unpredictability of the future seemed to permeate the entire process of adjustment and reconstruction of daily life. Conclusions: Our findings show that the concept of time is important in understanding and supporting the reconstruction of daily life after TBI. The fundamental work of rehabilitation is to ameliorate the disruptions caused by the injury, restoring a sense of personal narrative and supporting the ability to move forward with life.