Brain Impairment


Transitions and Brain Injury: A Qualitative Study Exploring the Journey of People with Traumatic Brain Injury

Anne Louise Conneeleya1 c1

a1 Coventry University, United Kingdom


This qualitative study aimed to explore transitions from hospital to the home over a period of one year.

Methods and procedures: A longitudinal, phenomenological approach was employed and 18 individuals with severe traumatic brain injury, their family members and rehabilitation professionals were interviewed using semistructured interviews, when the person with brain injury was discharged from the ward, after 6 months and again after one year.

Results: Themes identified within the data included returning home, getting back to normal, moving forward and the role of rehabilitation in the transitional period. Further subthemes were also identified including issues of life-course disruption, self-identity, status and reconstruction.

Conclusions: Data suggested that access to rehabilitation programs employing individualised, contextual interventions following discharge to the home were integral in enabling the transition through to autonomy and independence. Consideration of issues of identity and status can enable a different and potentially important perspective on the experience of transitions for those with brain injury. Reclaiming personal autonomy and control appeared to be central to the reconstruction of a coherent sense of self, enabling a meaningful life after brain injury.


  • Traumatic brain injury;
  • transitions;
  • occupation;
  • identity;
  • rehabilitation;
  • qualitative research


c1 Address for correspondence: Anne Louise Conneeley, Coventry University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Priory Street, Coventry, Warwickshire, CV1 5FB United Kingdom. E-mail address: