Family members' narratives of lifespace: Mapping changes before and after a brain injury causing driving disruption

Liang, Phyllis, Liddle, Jacki, Fleming, Jennifer and Gustafsson, Louise (2016) Family members' narratives of lifespace: Mapping changes before and after a brain injury causing driving disruption. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 63 3: 164-174. doi:10.1111/1440-1630.12258


Author Liang, Phyllis
Liddle, Jacki
Fleming, Jennifer
Gustafsson, Louise
Title Family members' narratives of lifespace: Mapping changes before and after a brain injury causing driving disruption
Journal name Australian Occupational Therapy Journal   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1440-1630
0045-0766
Publication date 2016-01-01
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/1440-1630.12258
Open Access Status
Volume 63
Issue 3
Start page 164
End page 174
Total pages 11
Place of publication Richmond, Australia
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Language eng
Subject 3609 Occupational Therapy
Abstract BACKGROUND/AIM: Family members of a person with an acquired brain injury often provide transport assistance during driving disruption with potential impacts on their own travel and participation within the community. The geographic area in which people travel and conduct their activities is known as lifespace. This study aimed to describe the quantitative changes in family members' lifespace after brain injury and understand their subjective experiences through interacting with maps during narratives.
Formatted abstract
Background/aim
Family members of a person with an acquired brain injury often provide transport assistance during driving disruption with potential impacts on their own travel and participation within the community. The geographic area in which people travel and conduct their activities is known as lifespace. This study aimed to describe the quantitative changes in family members’ lifespace after brain injury and understand their subjective experiences through interacting with maps during narratives.

Methods
Mapping was embedded within in-depth semi-structured interviews with 15 family members. Two sets of maps were generated per participant showing the number of travel locations before and after brain injury. In the interviews, participants reflected on the perceived meaning of lifespace change. Qualitative data were analysed using a narrative approach.

Results
Quantitative data from the mapping revealed an increase in travel locations for nine participants, a decrease for five, and no change for one participant. Data analysis revealed four typologies which complemented and enriched the quantitative data: (i) I will do everything for him or her; (ii) Trying to fit all in; (iii) We spend all our time together now; (iv) I need to also care for myself.

Conclusions
The findings describe the change in family members’ lifespace after taking on the driver role following acquired brain injury. This study highlights the importance of understanding both quantitative and qualitative aspects of lifespace. The subjective experiences and consequences of lifespace changes are different from the impact on individuals with health conditions. Mapping in an interview as a tool has potential clinical utility.
Keyword Automobile driving
Caregivers
Occupational therapy
Social participation
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

 
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