The experience of adjusting to Acquired Brain Injuries

Tikare, Jeri and Murray, Craig and Quinn, Karen (2019) The experience of adjusting to Acquired Brain Injuries. PhD thesis, Lancaster University.

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This thesis comprises of a literature review, a research paper and a critical appraisal of the research process. In the literature review, a meta-synthesis methodology was utilised to identify and synthesise 25 studies that explored the experiences of coping and adjusting to a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Four themes emerged; Immediate impact of injury: “I didn’t know what one should do as a human being”; Extrinsic factors that influenced recovery process; “Without him, I’m not sure I would have managed to live anymore”; Intrinsic factors that influenced recovery process: “Come on, snap out of it and do what you’ve got to do” and Post-injury growth: “I am glad I had my accident because it’s made me into a better person”. Findings are discussed in terms of the impact of loss experienced because of the injury, the impact on the participants’ identity, and the intrinsic and extrinsic factors that supported coping and adjustment. The research paper utilised interpretative phenomenological analysis, whereby six participants who had received a diagnosis of encephalitis were interviewed, to explore how they had made sense of the diagnostic process, experiences of receiving the diagnosis and the impact it had on their coping and adjustment to the illness. Three themes emerged ‘Being on a wild goose chase- challenges with getting the diagnosis’, ‘The emotional rollercoaster experience and ‘significance of information and others’. Findings suggest that encephalitis is a complex condition and the diagnostic journey is filled with many uncertainties fuelled by inadequate knowledge and understanding. Certain factors facilitate and hinder adjustment to the condition. The clinical implications of these findings are discussed. The critical appraisal discusses the comparisons between the findings of the literature review and research paper. Reflections about epistemology are discussed, alongside reflections on the research process as a whole.

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Thesis (PhD)
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18 Feb 2019 11:10
Last Modified:
28 Nov 2023 10:53