Research Reports - Psychological well-being in individuals living in the community with traumatic brain injury

Lisa Payne, Lenore Hawley, Jessica M. Ketchum, Angela Philippus, C. B. Eagye, Clare Morey, Don Gerber, Cynthia Harrison-Felix & Ed Diener (2018)

Brain Injury, DOI: 10.1080/02699052.2018.1468573

Background: Well-being and quality of life issues remain a long-term problem for many individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI). Meaningful activity is key to developing life satisfaction and a sense of contribution to society, yet individuals with TBI are often unable to return to competitive employment.

Objective: To describe the self-reported psychological well-being of a cohort of unemployed individuals living in the community at least 1 year post TBI with low life satisfaction.

Methods: Seventy-four unemployed individuals with low life satisfaction at least 1 year post TBI were administered measures of psychological well-being and cognitive functioning.

Results: This cohort of 74 participants demonstrated cognitive impairment and elevated levels of emotional distress. Significant bivariate relationships were noted among nearly all measures of well-being, and associations were in the directions as expected. Individuals reported low life satisfaction and well-being. Two newer measures of well-being correlated with established measures used with this population.

Conclusions: Individuals with TBI living in the community who are not employed but who seek to be productive reported low life satisfaction and well-being. This study highlights the need for interventions aimed at increasing productivity and meaning in life for individuals with TBI, and a broader understanding of psychological health after TBI.

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