Author: Ho, Ka-wai Wendy
Title: Family caregivers' experience of patients with traumatic brain injury
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2002
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Brain -- Wounds and injuries -- Patients -- Care
Brain -- Wounds and injuries -- Patients -- Family relationships
Department: School of Nursing
Pages: v, 171 leaves ; 30 cm
Language: English
Abstract: Although traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a common problem with lasting and profound changes in the injured and his family, little is known about the diverse meanings family caregivers both bring to and make from their caregiving process. The purpose of this study is to explore and describe the lived experience of the family caregivers of TBI patients by a narrative approach. Four family caregivers who were considered information-rich subjects were recruited. Their lived experiences were captured by unstructured interviews, observations, daily conversations as well as researcher's journal reflections made by repeated interactions. Their life stories were analyzed based on Deweyan view of experience which involves 'situation', 'continuity' and 'interaction' as a metaphorical three-dimensional narrative inquiry space (Clandinin and Connelly, 2000). Coherent stories were made by interpreting and making sense of the actions and responses in the caregivers' experiences After the injuries, the lives of these caregivers had significant changes. Different coping mechanisms were used to handle their stress and feelings of unsettledness', as well as to create hope. Coping mechanisms like drawing up explanation of the situations which makes sense to themselves, such as spending as much time as possible in company of the injured in order to feel needed, and soliciting spiritual support by engaging religious activities. The social aspect shaped the caregivers' lives significantly in both negative and positive ways. Although the caregivers made attempts to seek social support, their choices of sharing their problems with others were often constrained by their hidden concerns. Despite several negative impacts identifiable in their life stories, positive meanings were evident through their reflections. By telling and making meaning of their experience, these caregivers underwent changes and transformation which facilitated them to become active agents in their present and future lives. As I composed my own narrative, I worked with the narrative inquiry space like the caregivers did and the process enabled me to find life-changing new meanings as well. Areas were identified which might improve our nursing practice and knowledge. For example, this experience enabled me to view some aspects of clients' lives not visible in the usual clinical settings but yet deem to be very important. The role of nurses in helping them to explore and make meanings from their lived experience is important. We as nurses need to be open minded to consider the complexity and diversity of the caregivers' lives and appreciate their concerns, sometimes deep down from the surface.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: restricted access

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