Brain injury rehabilitation: The lived experience of inpatients and their family caregivers Academic Article uri icon


  • Inpatient rehabilitation is an integral part of the continuum of care for people with severe acquired brain injury (ABI), and may extend for weeks or months. However, there is a lack of research describing the experience of inpatient brain injury rehabilitation. The purpose of this study was to describe and interpret the inpatient brain injury rehabilitation experience from the perspective of patients and their caregivers. Qualitative content analysis of semi-structured interviews from a purposeful sample of 20 patients and 18 of their family caregivers generated in-depth descriptions of the inpatient experience. Three themes were identified; "rehabilitation context/environment", "activity/occupation", and "support and adjustment". The findings provide a greater understanding of rehabilitation from an insider perspective and can assist rehabilitation teams to better meet the needs of people with ABI. Specifically, the need for a therapeutic environment, meaningful occupations and family-centredness in inpatient settings were highlighted by this study.


publication date

  • March 2012