Beyond Broken Bodies and Brains: A Mixed Methods Study of Mental Health and Life Transitions After Brain Injury

Chalotte Glintborg*, Ane S. Thomsen, Tia G.B. Hansen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
240 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: Clients with an acquired brain injury (ABI) are at risk of mental health problems and it has been argued that transitions throughout the rehabilitation process are a challenge for rehabilitation practice; however, the link between transitions and psychosocial outcome has been under-researched. Therefore, this study aims to (1) investigate the status of clients with moderate or severe ABI two-year post-discharge on the following outcomes variables: Physical and cognitive function, depression, quality of life, civil and work status, (2) examine correlations between these outcomes and (3) explore through qualitative interviews the subjective experiences of individuals with ABI in order to increase our understanding of clients’ perspectives on this outcome and its relation to life transitions in a two-year period. Method: 37 individuals aged 18–66 with moderate or severe ABI were interviewed two years after discharge. At this time, they also completed standard measures of depression (MDI), quality of life (WHOQOL-bref) and functional independence (FIM™). Historical data of their FIM™ status at discharge were obtained for comparison. Results: We found psychological problems two years post-hospitalization, especially depression (35.1%) and decreased psychological QOL (61%). Analysis of interviews found six main factors perceived as important for psychosocial outcome: family relations, return to work, waiting lists, psychological support, fatigue and personal competences. Conclusions: Clients’ status two years post-hospitalization is often characterized by psychological problems. Based on clients’ accounts, we found a connection between psychosocial outcome and life transition experiences and developed a model of factors that are perceived as helping and hindering positive outcome.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBrain Impairment
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)215-227
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Community re-entry/participation
  • measurement/psychometric
  • other
  • outcome
  • psychiatric/mental health/thought processes
  • rehabilitation psychology
  • stroke
  • traumatic brain injury


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