Abstract

Objectives. The purpose of this study was to gather information regarding changes in adult life roles following severe traumatic brain injury.

Method. The Role Checklist and a semistructured interview were administered to 28 adults with traumatic brain injury who had been in the community for at least 8 months prior to the study. All 28 subjects reported role changes in their lives.

Results. The majority of the role changes were losses (71%). More than 64% percent of the subjects reported three or four role losses. The losses were in major organizing roles such as worker, hobbyist, and friend. Most role gains were seen in the roles of home maintainer, family member, and religious participant. Almost 40% of all roles were reported as changed (loss or gain), while more than 60% of roles were reported as unchanged (continuous or absent). The participants’ subjective impressions concerning the role changes and why they occurred were elicited.

Conclusion. With a better understanding of possible role change after traumatic brain injury, rehabilitation professionals can target the development of specific skills necessary for the continuation of valued roles.

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