Social Integration following Traumatic Brain Injury and Rehabilitation

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The aim of this qualitative study was to examine the issues involved in social integration for those affected by traumatic brain injury, following a period of rehabilitation. Eighteen patients, their significant other* and members of the rehabilitation team involved in their care were interviewed when the patient was discharged from the ward of a neurological rehabilitation hospital, 6 months later and, again, at one year following discharge from the ward.

When the data were analysed at the time of the final interview, two respondents reported social isolation. Although many others felt that the level of social contact was that of their choice, several issues were discussed that affected social relationships. These included the impact of impairments, the social response of others and the fact that social networks change naturally over time irrespective of injury or disability.

When the data were considered from a sociological perspective, the themes of self-identity, master status and stranger status emerged. This gave a different insight into issues that could be relevant but had not been discussed widely within the head injury literature. Further consideration of the individual in the context of personhood as well as head injury is recommended as a means to develop understanding.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2002

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  • The British Journal of Occupational Therapy (BJOT) is the official journal of the College of Occupational Therapists. Its purpose is to publish articles relevant to theory, practice, research, education and management in occupational therapy internationally.

    BJOT publishes research articles, critical reviews, practice analyses, opinion pieces, editorials, letters to the editor, book reviews and an annual index. Please refer to the author's guide at

    Submissions can be made at

    The 2013 Impact Factor for The British Journal of Occupational Therapy is 0.897.

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