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JOURNAL ARTICLE

The meaning of feeling well in people with moderate or severe traumatic brain injury

Eija Jumisko, Jan Lexell, Siv Söderberg
Journal of Clinical Nursing 2009, 18 (16): 2273-81
19583660

AIM: The aim of this study was to elucidate the meaning of feeling well for people with moderate or severe traumatic brain injury.

BACKGROUND: Considerable attention has been given to research consequences, quality of life and satisfaction with life in people with traumatic brain injury. Most studies reveal negative aspects of living with traumatic brain injury. Knowledge that provides an understanding of the meaning of feeling well for people with a traumatic brain injury entails the possibility that they could receive support to feel well, despite their injury.

DESIGN: This study used a qualitative research approach, as the aim was to elucidate meaning.

METHODS: Data were collected through qualitative research interviews with two women and six men with moderate or severe traumatic brain injury who had lived with the injury for between 7-15 years. A phenomenological hermeneutic method was used to interpret the data.

RESULTS: The meaning of feeling well for people with moderate or severe traumatic brain injury was that the initially unfamiliar life with traumatic brain injury became familiar. This included finding strength, regaining control over everyday life, being close to someone and being good enough. People with traumatic brain injury felt well when they became reconciled with the circumstances of their life and created a new entity in that life, in which their complete health had been lost.

RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: This study helps professionals to enhance their understanding and awareness of the possibilities for people with moderate or severe traumatic brain injury to feel well. The study showed that people with traumatic brain injury needed a lot of strength to achieve this. Professionals can help them to feel well by getting to know them and thus find ways to support the person's feeling of wellbeing.

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