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Visual metaphors of living with brain injury: exploring and communicating lived experience with an invisible injury

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Brain injury can affect cognitive, emotional and physical functioning - consequences that pose challenges to understanding survivors' perspectives on their lives. Furthermore, the injury may be invisible, even clinically, causing additional confusion for affected individuals, family members, co-workers and clinicians. The present study used photovoice with adult brain injury survivors so they could communicate their lived experience. Participants took photographs, discussed them, and selected some for captions. Half of their selected images are visual metaphors that foster a multifaceted view of brain injury with room for negative as well as positive aspects of their experience. Photovoice provided opportunities to communicate a personal voice during group discussions and in study binders, and a group voice in outreach products. Visual metaphors became vehicles for voice as participants used photovoice to make visible their brain injuries and their efforts to wrestle with the impacts and discover new purpose and meaning in life.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2010-12-01

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