Donna Gill is a clinical nurse specialist in the Acquired Brain Injured Program at the Hamilton Health Sciences Corporation and a clinical lecturer in the School of Nursing at McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada. Dr. Donna Wells is an associate professor and associate dean (education) in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Toronto in Toronto.
Forever Different: Experiences of Living with a Sibling Who Has a Traumatic Brain Injury
Version of Record online: 10 JUL 2012
2000 Association of Rehabilitation Nurses
Volume 25, Issue 2, pages 48–53, March-April 2000
How to Cite
Gill, D. J. and Wells, D. L. (2000), Forever Different: Experiences of Living with a Sibling Who Has a Traumatic Brain Injury. Rehabilitation Nursing, 25: 48–53. doi: 10.1002/j.2048-7940.2000.tb01862.x
- Issue online: 10 JUL 2012
- Version of Record online: 10 JUL 2012
- acquired brain injury;
- family systems
This qualitative exploratory study examined the experiences of people living with a brother or sister who has suffered a traumatic brain injury. Eight siblings between the ages of 14 and 30 were interviewed using McCracken's long interview method. Data analysis indicated the presence of one overarching theme—namely, that the well sibling's life was forever different. There were four supporting themes: change in sibling (the reason for the difference in the well sibling's life), mixed emotions (the well sibling's reactions to the experience), different life rhythm (changes in the way the well sibling went about day-to-day life), and change in self (ways the well sibling became a different person). This article analyzes the study's result in light of previous research and family systems theory, and it discusses the implications for the care given to well siblings by professionals in the field of rehabilitation.