Functional brain injury rehabilitation: Survivor experiences reported by families and professionals

Sarah E. Wallace, Kelli Evans, Taylor Arnold, Karen Hux

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Primary objective: The researchers investigated rehabilitation experiences of brain injury (BI) survivors participating in a functional programme. Research design: The researchers used a phenomenological approach involving the collection of artifacts and the analysis of focus group discussions through horizontalizing statements, creating meaning units and clustering codes. Methods and procedures: Focus groups including staff members and survivors' relatives reported perceptions about the programme and survivors' experiences; programme artifacts (e.g. survivors' schedules, website information) provided additional information. Survivors verified focus group responses and an analysis using five assessment measures served to validate positive functional changes among programme participants. Main outcomes: Three general categories of themes emerged: components of functional therapy, programme/culture features supporting functional therapy and family members' and survivors' reactions to a functional programme. Sub-categories and themes provided details about issues central to functional BI treatment. Conclusions: The findings suggest that functional therapy programmes: (a) address family and survivors' goals, (b) occur in the community or real world, (c) are implemented by people in survivors' environments, (d) are collaborative, (e) focus on a positive culture, (f) build on basic skills, (g) allow exploration of discharge options, (h) preserve survivors' privacy and dignity and (i) recognize difficulties associated with transitioning from acute to post-acute rehabilitation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1371-1384
Number of pages14
JournalBrain Injury
Issue number13-14
StatePublished - Dec 2007


  • Community based rehabilitation
  • Family
  • Outcome
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Neurology


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