A qualitative exploration of fatherhood after Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)

Cregan, Karen (2019) A qualitative exploration of fatherhood after Acquired Brain Injury (ABI). Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Abstract

Background: When a person acquires a brain injury their life and the lives of those around them changes irrevocably and profoundly. To date, there is little explicit focus on ABI survivors’ experiences of coupled relationships post-ABI. Most research in parenting post-ABI has centred on quantitative studies in this area.

Aims: The aim of the current study was to gain a rich and deep understanding of the phenomenon of how men experience fatherhood after ABI. Following the initial interviews, the systematic review question was refined to explore: what are acquired brain injury survivors’ experiences of coupled relationships after brain injury?

Design: This research is presented in the format of a thesis portfolio which includes; a systematic review of qualitative literature exploring survivors’ experiences of coupled relationships after ABI, an empirical paper using an IPA approach to explore men’s experiences of fatherhood after ABI, an extended methodology chapter and a critical evaluation chapter.

Findings: The systematic review included five studies from which five themes emerged: (1) being a changed partner (2) altered roles as survivors (3) sexuality (4) connectedness and (5) ongoing acceptance, commitment and understanding. The empirical research identified four themes: (1) what being a father means, (2) altered relationships with others, (3) becoming lost and finding their way through, and (4) renewed fatherhood.

Conclusions: The findings from the review point to themes that may both hinder and help relationships after ABI. The findings from the empirical study tentatively support prior research and offer important insights into what it means to be a father with ABI. Both studies are first in the UK exploring these under-represented areas and may aid future clinical and research implications for this brain injury population.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Depositing User: Gillian Aldus
Date Deposited: 28 Nov 2019 10:28
Last Modified: 28 Nov 2019 10:28
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/73208
DOI:

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