Research Reports - Adjustment to loss of the driving role following traumatic brain injury

Liddle J, Fleming J, McKenna K, Turpin M, Whitelaw P, Allen S.

Aust Occup Ther J. 2012 Feb;59(1):79-88

Background/aims:  Community mobility is affected by an interruption to or cessation of driving following traumatic brain injury (TBI). This study aimed to examine loss of the driving role and to explore the outcomes associated with driving cessation from the perspectives of key people involved within the process: people with TBI, their family members and involved health professionals. Methods:  A qualitative methodology was used, employing semi-structured interviews with 15 individuals with TBI who had experienced driving cessation, 10 family members and 10 health professionals working with this population. Results:  This article focuses on two themes, each with three subthemes. Being stuck: needs related to driving cessation had subthemes: (i) an emotional time, (ii) being normal and (iii) participation without driving. The second theme, A better way: suggestions to improve outcomes had subthemes: (i) information, (ii) support and trying it out and (iii) their family member's roles and needs. Conclusions:  Driving cessation following TBI is associated with emotional, identity, transport and participation-related needs. An ongoing, individualised approach involving information, support and practical experiences may improve outcomes of driving cessation for people with TBI and their family members.

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