Exploring the lived experiences of carers of traumatic brain injury
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Background: Previously research about carers of traumatic brain injury (TBI) has been dominated by quantitative studies which have been unable to give an insider's perspective of how carers view their experiences of becoming a carer. Objective: To describe, qualitatively, how carers interpret their lived experiences, in addition, to how carers cope with the responsibilities of caring and how they acquire the skills and knowledge to do so. Method: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with four carers who were recruited from a TBI charity. Data was analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Results: A unique journey was discovered which represents how carers of TBI learn to assign new meaning to their life despite their negative experiences and develop the knowledge and skills required to fulfil their role. Conclusion: The results indicate that despite carers differing backgrounds and experiences each of their stories represented this discovered journey which suggests it could be applicable to other carers of TBI. Future research should investigate this. This study offers recommendations for health professionals, including Speech and Language Therapists, working with individuals with TBIs and their carers to provide appropriate support which carers in this study felt they lacked.
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