Perceptions of recovery during the early transition phase from hospital to home following acquired brain injury: A journey of discovery Academic Article uri icon


  • The increasing volume of literature concerning community-based rehabilitation for individuals with acquired brain injury (ABI) has recently brought into focus the importance of the early hospital-to-home transition phase. The present study aimed to explore the perspectives of individuals with ABI and their family caregivers concerning recovery and adjustment during the early transition phase from hospital to home. The study utilised a qualitative phenomenological design and included 20 participants with ABI and 18 family caregivers. Participants completed in-depth semi-structured interviews at the following time points: pre-discharge, and 1 and 3 months post-discharge. Data analysis entailed thematic analysis of the interview transcripts and incorporated open, axial and selective coding techniques. The following four primary themes emerged from the analysis process: (1) adapting to life in the real world; (2) variations in recovery; (3) the emotional adjustment rollercoaster; and (4) discovering the new me. Collectively, the findings highlight that while returning home was typically perceived to facilitate ongoing recovery, the process of adjusting emotionally to life at home posed a significant challenge for many participants during the transition phase. The clinical/service implications of the findings relate to the need for: (1) contextually appropriate rehabilitation options during the transition phase; and (2) the expansion of transition-based models of service delivery to include targeted psychological intervention approaches.

publication date

  • January 2011