THE EXPERIENCES OF OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY AND OCCUPATIONAL IDENTITY DISRUPTION IN YOUNG ADULTS AFTER A TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY.
Background: A traumatic brain injury is a nondegenerative insult to the brain from an external mechanical force (Seyd et al. 2007). Traumatic brain injuries challenge entire family/social systems and cause stress and disruption to normal life. Two of the main causes of a traumatic brain injury in young adults (particularly aged 18-25) are falls and car accidents, with males being more susceptible than females (Llie et al. 2019). Young people of this age are still undergoing the transition from adolescence to adulthood. This complicates the pathology and the life expectations from a societal point of view, along with educational and perceived personal attainment (Llie et al. 2019). The research would like to explore the impact of a traumatic brain injury on an individual’s identity, occupational choices and meaningful roles. The focus of this topic will be based within a Scottish context. Literature Review Findings: Three themes emerged from the 13 articles chosen for the literature review. A common and shared thread was the “loss of self” (Nochi 1998a), which coined the beginnings of qualitative research within this field. The first theme discusses the findings surrounding meaningful roles in the form of gender and work identity. The second theme highlights the perception of the self after a traumatic brain injury. The findings suggest that loss of self and identity disruption is due to a change in their perceived self, and societal views. The final theme explores the rehabilitation process and the lack of decision making opportunities that are available for people with a traumatic brain injury. The themes highlight a gap in the literature that focuses on the importance of meaningful occupation in occupational identity reconstruction within initial stages of rehabilitation. Research Proposal: A narrative inquiry approach was used to grasp a clearer understanding of the occupational experiences within rehabilitation for young people with a traumatic brain injury. Their experiences of occupational therapy and the use of occupation as a means for reconstructing occupational identity was the aim and focus. Participants with a mild to severe TBI who have 4 undergone occupational therapy will be included. Each interview or proxy interview will take one to two hours. The interviews will be unstructured and the data collected will be subjected to narrative data analysis. Conclusions: It is anticipated that the research will elucidate a greater understanding and comprehension for the occupational disruption that occurs for young people who have experienced a traumatic brain injury.