Date Presented 04/21/2023

This qualitative research examined brain injury survivors’ (BISs’) and family members’ lifelong occupational engagement impacts. When OT is truly occupation, client, and family centered, we must consider occupational engagement long term and in context.

Primary Author and Speaker: Miguel-Alfonso Regidor

Additional Authors and Speakers: Haleli Moalem, Gary Eng, Brandon Duenas

Contributing Authors: Laura GREISS Hess

PURPOSE: Current brain injury survivor(s) (BIS) and OT literature is primarily focused on rehabilitation models. Yet, BIS and their family members experience changes to occupational engagement that have yet to be empirically studied. The purpose of this qualitative research was to examine: 1-What are the lived experiences of brain injury survivors and their families after the conclusion of typical rehab supports once they return to their homes, jobs and communities? 2- How can the examination of these phenomena better inform occupation centered client and family care as well as interprofessional collaboration for service to this community?

DESIGN: IRB approved, qualitative research conducted in collaboration with a brain injury program. Convenience sampling recruitment of English speaking, adult, BIS and family members.

METHOD: Separate BIS and family semi-structured interviews conducted via Zoom. Audio data transcribed. Thematic analyses conducted via constant comparison method via Dedoose.

RESULTS: Preliminary sample: BIS (n=5, 1 male, 4 female) and family members (n=4). Preliminary BIS themes: psychosocial and cognitive impacts to daily occupations, need for self-regulation, assistive technology, and ongoing support. One participant described, ‘It’s like neuro fatigue, I can't make a decision or be able to think'. Preliminary family themes: change to caregiver roles and need for awareness and compassion. One family member discussed, ‘Awareness is key in that a brain injury is a hidden disability…but underneath, there are some things they're trying to work on’.

CONCLUSION: BIS and family members experience life long occupational engagement impacts. When OT is truly occupation, client and family centered, we must consider BIS return to homes / communities. OT is poised to better advocate for the brain injury community and interprofessional practice when we consider occupational engagement long term and in context.


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