Research Reports - Personal narrative approaches in rehabilitation following traumatic brain injury

Neuropsychol Rehabil. 2017 Aug 9:1-20. doi: 10.1080/09602011.2017.1361844. [Epub
ahead of print]

D'Cruz K(1)(2), Douglas J(1)(2)(3), Serry T(1)(2).

Although narrative storytelling has been found to assist identity construction,
there is little direct research regarding its application in rehabilitation
following traumatic brain injury (TBI). The aim of this review was to identify
published evidence on the use of personal narrative approaches in rehabilitation
following TBI and to synthesise the findings across this literature. A systematic
search of four databases was conducted in December 2016. No limit was set on the
start date of the search. Personal narrative approaches were defined as direct
client participation in sharing personal stories using written, spoken or visual
methods. The search retrieved 12 qualitative research articles on the use of
personal narrative approaches in TBI rehabilitation. Thematic synthesis of the
narrative data and authors' reported findings of the 12 articles yielded an
overall theme of building a strengths-based identity and four sub-themes: 1)
expressing and communicating to others; 2) feeling validated by the act of
someone listening; 3) reflecting and learning about oneself; and 4) being
productive. The findings of this review support the use of personal narrative
approaches in addressing loss of identity following TBI. Healthcare professionals
and the community are encouraged to seek opportunities for survivors of TBI to
share their stories. 

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