Quality of life in adults with a head injury living in the community: A qualitative study

Walker, Jemma (2013) Quality of life in adults with a head injury living in the community: A qualitative study. D Clin Psy thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

Background & Aims: Research suggests that severe head injury can result in a poorer quality of life compared to the general population. This is attributed to a reduction in the quantity and quality of social relationships, reduced leisure activities, symptoms of depression and anxiety, and low self-efficacy. In recent years this literature has been growing and there has been a development of head injury specific, health-related quality of life outcome measures; however, qualitative research which explores the views of people with head injury and their relatives or carers is limited. This study explores the subjective experience of quality of life following head injury, and similarities and differences between self and proxy reports.

Methods: Participants included four adults with a severe head injury living in the community and a relative or carer who knows them well. Participants and their carers took part in semi-structured interviews relating to their perceptions of quality of life, and analysis was conducted using an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) approach.

Results & Conclusions: Overall, the head injured participants and their relatives reported having a good quality of life. The emergent themes related to this were ‘daily functioning’, ‘relationships’, and ‘moving on’. Convergence was identified between self and proxy reports of quality of life. Factors found to be important in the experience of good quality of life after head injury were: a ‘sense of purpose’; supportive ‘relationships’; and a focus on ‘moving on’ from the injury. The identification of factors associated with good quality of life sets the current study apart from existing literature which has focused on factors associated with poor quality of life. The study also demonstrates that it is possible for those who have experienced a severe head injury to self-report and reflect on a range of factors relating to their quality of life.

Item Type: Thesis (D Clin Psy)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Colleges/Schools: College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Supervisor's Name: McMillan, Prof. Tom and Wilson, Dr. Sarah
Date of Award: 2013
Depositing User: Miss Jemma Walker
Unique ID: glathesis:2013-4622
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2013 14:23
Last Modified: 01 May 2015 08:49
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/4622

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