Personal narrative approaches in rehabilitation following traumatic brain injury: A synthesis of qualitative research Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Although narrative storytelling has been found to assist identity construction, there is little direct research regarding its application in rehabilitation following traumatic brain injury (TBI). The aim of this review was to identify published evidence on the use of personal narrative approaches in rehabilitation following TBI and to synthesise the findings across this literature. A systematic search of four databases was conducted in December 2016. No limit was set on the start date of the search. Personal narrative approaches were defined as direct client participation in sharing personal stories using written, spoken or visual methods. The search retrieved 12 qualitative research articles on the use of personal narrative approaches in TBI rehabilitation. Thematic synthesis of the narrative data and authors' reported findings of the 12 articles yielded an overall theme of building a strengths-based identity and four sub-themes: 1) expressing and communicating to others; 2) feeling validated by the act of someone listening; 3) reflecting and learning about oneself; and 4) being productive. The findings of this review support the use of personal narrative approaches in addressing loss of identity following TBI. Healthcare professionals and the community are encouraged to seek opportunities for survivors of TBI to share their stories.

publication date

  • 2017