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Brain Inj. 2010;24(4):642-50. doi: 10.3109/02699051003601689.

'To be accepted as normal': Public understanding and misconceptions concerning survivors of brain injury.

Author information

1
Queen's University Belfast, Northern Ireland. m.linden@qub.ac.uk

Abstract

PRIMARY OBJECTIVE:

To determine the views held by the general public in Northern Ireland towards survivors of brain injury.

RESEARCH DESIGN:

Qualitative semi-structured interviews.

METHODS AND PROCEDURES:

Interviews were conducted with 16 members of the general public. Ten questions addressed issues such as the role of survivors of brain injury in society, the challenges they face and the characteristics ascribed to them.

MAIN OUTCOMES AND RESULTS:

When asked to describe someone with a brain injury participants typically used negative labels and identified the most common problems as relating to physical, cognitive, emotional and social functioning. There was a general failure to recognize that brain injury was a 'hidden' disability, with most participants expecting some outward manifestation. Relatively few previous studies have employed a qualitative approach to explore how the public perceives survivors of brain injury.

CONCLUSION:

Members of the public have an increasing awareness of the challenges faced by survivors of brain injury. However, in spite of this, perceptions of aggressiveness, dependency and unhappiness were still evident, suggesting potential problems in reintegrating survivors of brain injury with their communities.

PMID:
20235767
DOI:
10.3109/02699051003601689
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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