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After the accident: Survivors' perceptions of recovery following road trauma

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Abstract

Road accidents affect thousands of lives each year in Australia. This article discusses findings from three years of research into survivors of major road trauma. The research aimed to examine how survivors of road trauma understood their own experiences of recovery, after sustaining serious orthopaedic injuries and undergoing rehabilitation at a Victorian rehabilitation centre. Seventy-nine respondents completed a self-administered survey and 24 of these respondents then participated in in-depth telephone interviews. Using an ecological framework, the research focused on psychosocial and subjective factors in recovery. The qualitative aspects of recovery are presented – the analysis of perceptions of trauma, recovery, recovery resources and coping in the future. Four main themes of recovery are identified – finding a new fit, the privacy of suffering, anticipatory coping and survivor pride. These themes highlight the complexity of the recovery process.

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