Academic journal article The Journal of Rehabilitation

Social Interactions of Individuals with Traumatic Brain Injury

Academic journal article The Journal of Rehabilitation

Social Interactions of Individuals with Traumatic Brain Injury

Article excerpt

Brain injury is described as acute and chronic injury to the brain, including the cerebral hemispheres, cerebellum, and brain stem. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) results when external forces (such as hitting one's head in car accident) cause trauma to the brain. Clinical manifestations depend on the nature of injury (Flanagan, Cantor, & Ashman, 2008). TBI is a national healthcare problem, affecting approximately 1.7 million Americans per year. As TBI is often an injury of youth, long-term care as well as the loss of this portion of the population from the work force will over time, exact significant personal and societal costs (Coronado et al, 2011)

For many people with TBI, the recovery process is a lengthy, nonlinear and iterative process involving sudden and unexpected life changes for both the individual and their families. Along the entire spectrum of TBI; from mild through severe injuries, issues related to ineffective social recovery have been shown to have a significant effect on the complex rehabilitation process for adolescents and adults recovering from TBI (Channon & Crawford, 2010; McDonald, Flanagan, Rollins & Kinch, 2003). Empirical evidence suggests that individuals with TBI commonly experience pervasive long term cognitive communication impairments, which have been associated with reduced social interaction, productivity, and life satisfaction (Channon & Crawford, 2010; Braden et al, 2010; Rutland Brown, Langlois, Thomas & Xi, 2006). Long term cognitive communication impairments typically result in emotional distress, difficulty with employment, and ineffective tools for establishing relationships with others. Individuals who behave awkwardly in social situations are likely to be rejected by peers and, in turn, often exhibit depression, loneliness, negative self-concept, anxiety, low academic achievement, and higher dropout rates; further reducing social interactive competence (Ylvisaker, Turkstra, & Coelho, 2005). Problematic social interactions have been linked to difficulty in family reintegration and educational, vocational, social, and avocational pursuits. Factors that contribute to ineffective social reintegration include pre-injury behavioral and communication problems, impairments tied directly and indirectly to the injury, and the effectiveness of ongoing management and support (Ylvisaker et al, 2005). Although many individuals who have experienced TBI can demonstrate relevant declarative social knowledge within clinical settings, they have difficulty transferring this social knowledge to real-world activities (Ylvisaker, Hibbard, & Feeney, 2006). If the injury has impacted their self-awareness, they may resist the process of change.

This problem is being studied for the purpose of understanding and explaining what takes place in the realm of social interactions of persons with TBI in certain sets of circumstances. The ultimate goal is to grasp the affected individual's point of view in relation to their life experiences in both effective and perceived ineffective social interactions, and to document their vision of the phenomenon of interacting with others. Given the importance of rewarding social experiences to overall quality of life, this study examines the social interactions of individuals with Traumatic Brain injury (TBI) through qualitative research. To understand the perception of individuals with TBI surrounding their social interactions, the following research question was addressed: how do individuals with TBI describe their social interaction experiences? Through the qualitative process of discovery, data was gathered on how individuals with TBI perceive and describe their social interaction experiences.

Literature Review

There are differing views about when a literature review should be conducted in a qualitative study (Denzin & Lincoln, 2005; Polit & Hungler, 2004). For qualitative studies a literature review can be conducted either before or after data collection. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.