«Giving people a chance» – HOW PEOPLE WITH TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY EXPERIENCE WORK PARTICIPATION TEN TO TWELVE YEARS AFTER THE INJURY
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionErgoterapeuten. 2023, 66 (3), 28-37.
Purpose: The study aimed to explore how people with moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) experienced work participation ten to twelve years after their injury. The goal was to contribute to the knowledge base on how to best improve work participation for this group. Methods: Data were collected through semi-structured interviews with eight individuals from eastern Nor- way who had experienced moderate-to-severe TBI ten to twelve years earlier. The data were analysed using a stepwise-deductive inductive method. Findings: The informants’ experiences with work participation can be described in two main themes: 1 working with impaired memory, attention and fatigue 2 the importance of coping strategies and social support in returning to work The informants described work participation as positive; however, they reported challenges with «invisible» consequences such as fatigue, reduced attention and impaired memory. Coping strategies were applied to compensate for these impairments. The informants also reported challenges resulting from the limited understanding of colleagues of their injury-related issues. Conclusions: The informants still experienced challenges in the workplace ten to twelve years post injury. The findings indicate that TBI follow-up programmes should include interventions such as workplace-based support and work adaptions with a long-term perspective.