Family experience after paediatric acquired brain injury

Tyerman, Emma and Eccles, Fiona and Gray, Victoria (2015) Family experience after paediatric acquired brain injury. PhD thesis, Lancaster University.

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This thesis explores family experiences after paediatric Acquired Brain Injury (ABI). ABI can result in physical, cognitive and psychological difficulties (Royal College of Physicians& British Society of Rehabilitation Medicine, 2003). Given its wide-ranging impact, ABI is likely to have an effect on the family. However, there is limited qualitative research exploring the lived experiences of siblings of children with ABI, and none that focuses specifically on sibling relationships. There is more research exploring parents’ experience of this same phenomenon but a lack of synthesis of this knowledge. My thesis seeks to address this gap by conducting a systematic review of parents’ experiences and qualitative research on sibling experience. In the literature review, I systematically searched three databases and identified fourteen qualitative papers that met the inclusion criteria. These were synthesised in line with Noblit and Hare’s (1988) guidelines. Three themes emerged, representing the challenges that parents experience with a child with ABI: (1) Disconnection: Cut off from internal emotions and isolated from society; (2) Seeking understanding and support to manage in an insecure world; (3) New parent to a different child. In the research project, I used semi-structured interviews with five siblings (aged between 9-12) and Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis to understand their experience of the sibling relationship after ABI. This resulted in four themes: (1)Coping with “a nightmare that you live”; (2)Disconnection from family relationships; (3)My sibling is different but “still the same underneath all this thing”; and (4)Changing togetherness. These themes showed high levels of distress alongside attempts to adjust to a changed sibling and sibling relationship. In the third section of this thesis, I critically appraise the above papers and consider strengths and weakness, challenges and recommendations for future research. I hope that this paper will inform future researchers interviewing children, particularly within ABI.

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Thesis (PhD)
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10 Nov 2015 10:40
Last Modified:
18 May 2024 01:58