‘They Never Told Us Anything’: Postdischarge Instruction for Families of Persons with Brain Injuries

Authors


University of British Columbia School of Nursing, T201-2211 Wesbrook Mall, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 2B5 or e-mail paterson@nursing.ubc.ca

Abstract

This article reports on an analysis of why some families of survivors of traumatic brain injury (TBI) do not perceive that they were prepared for the postdischarge experience, despite discharge planning and teaching by rehabilitation hospital staff and third-party insurance adjusters. Findings are presented of a research study involving single interviews with seven families of survivors of TBI and interviews with four focus groups of healthcare professionals and third-party insurance adjusters who had cared, or were currently caring, for the injured person. Most family members did not recall being taught about what to expect or resources available to them. Healthcare professionals and insurance adjusters, however, stated that extensive discharge planning and multidisciplinary teaching conferences with patients and their families had been held before the patients were discharged. Reasons for such a discrepancy in perceptions are suggested. Implications of these findings for healthcare professionals who conduct discharge teaching in rehabilitation facilities are identified.

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