Objectives. A follow-up study of the support group discussed in Schwartzberg’s 1994 study was conducted to determine participants’ perceptions of helping factors in the group.
Method. Subjects were given a semistructured interview; follow-up interviews were held to ensure accuracy.
Results. Eleven helping factors were spontaneously generated from group members’ data. These factors were socializing; finding out other people’s perspectives and attitudes; expressing thoughts and feelings; receiving support; feeling something in common with other group members; gaining understanding, empathy, and acceptance through listening and sharing; getting perspective by learning about other people’s limitations and strengths; helping others; getting help with problem solving; feeling hope; and learning information about brain injury. Members ranked expressing thoughts and feelings as the most helpful factor and finding out other people’s perspectives and attitudes as the least helpful.
Conclusions. These results support Schwartzberg’s earlier findings, with some exceptions. The factor titles in this study have a broader scope than those in Schwartzberg’s study, and not all of the factors determined in this study are completely comparable to Schwartzberg’s factors. These findings may indicate that some differences in perspective exist between the participant observer and the survivors in the group studied.