Family members' experiences of driving disruption after acquired brain injury
P Liang, J Fleming, L Gustafsson, J Griffin, J Liddle
Primary objective: 1) To explore family members’ lived experiences of driving disruption at early and later stages of the recovery continuum following acquired brain injury (ABI). 2) To describe health-related quality of life of family members of individuals with ABI who are experiencing driving disruption.
Research design: Mixed methods phenomenological research approach.
Methods and procedures: Semi-structured interviews and health-related quality of life questionnaires were conducted with 15 family members of individuals with ABI (early group: 1–12 months post-injury, n = 6; later group: >1 year post-injury, n = 9).
Results: Two main themes were identified: Different for everyone: how driving disruption affects families, and Making it harder: context of driving disruption. The challenges of driving disruption were reported more frequently and with a more intense focus by family members who were caring for their relative for more than 1 year post-injury. This group also reported higher caregiver strain and poorer health-related quality of life. Reduced satisfaction with life, poor mental health and affected family functioning were reported by both groups.
Conclusions: Driving disruption impacts on family members and has long-lasting consequences. It is important for clinicians to work with family members to manage these challenges even years after ABI and consider individual contextual factors.