Understanding the benefits, barriers and correlates to social connectedness and participation for people following an acquired brain injury

Berger, Georgina (2020) Understanding the benefits, barriers and correlates to social connectedness and participation for people following an acquired brain injury. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Abstract

Context: Following Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) people often become socially isolated, which has been associated with poorer wellbeing and worse health outcomes.

Aim: This research portfolio aimed to improve our understanding of both social isolation and connection after ABI.

Method: In order to address the research aim, mixed methods were used. The systematic review searched the existing literature to identify predictors, correlates and effects of social isolation after brain injury. The empirical paper then investigated how people can become more socially connected after ABI. It explored how people come to access community groups following ABI, what barriers and facilitators they experience, and how accessing community groups can support wellbeing.

Results: The systematic review identified demographic, impairment, wellbeing and mental health related factors which were related to social isolation after brain injury. It indicated that there is also a paucity of studies identifying causal relationships. The empirical paper found that attending community groups can begin a virtuous cycle of increasing activity and connection which can support wellbeing. However, it found that people needed both practical and emotional supports and resources in order to access these groups.

Conclusion: The findings provide evidence for the benefits, barriers and correlates to social connectedness following ABI and suggest ways in which people can be better supported to maintain their connections and wellbeing following ABI. Further research is needed to establish causal relationships between variables and to see if this virtuous cycle of increasing activity and connection is replicated in other settings.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
Depositing User: Chris White
Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2020 10:33
Last Modified: 04 Nov 2020 10:33
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/77529
DOI:

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