The Constructions and Experiences of Males with an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)
Dhillon, Jasbir Kaur
Acquired brain injury (ABI) is predominantly experienced by males and younger populations in the United Kingdom (UK). Although some research exists exploring the experiences of individuals living with an ABI, no research exists in the UK specifically exploring the lived experiences of males with an ABI. This study aimed to explore the lived experience of males with a mild to severe ABI, and understand the construing that underpinned the meaning they gave to their experiences. A mixed methods design was used, combining the use of repertory grids and Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) of data collected via semi-structured interviews. Six working-age males with a moderate to severe ABI participated in the study. Five themes emerged from the data, including invisibility, painful relationship with society, post-injury growth, a vulnerable mind and importance of others in recovery. Repertory grids found commonalities within constructs, a predominantly tight process of construing as well as commonalities within the structure of construing. Repertory grids were also found to be a helpful method in supporting the research process. The clinical implications of this study were discussed, highlighting the need for further psycho-educational and psychological support. Recommendations for further research were suggested, including exploration of the experience of individuals with difficulties engaging with narrative form research, or from ethnic minority backgrounds in the UK.