Addressing uncertainty and stigma in social relations related to hidden dysfunctions following acquired brain injury
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionHellem, I., Førland, G., Eide, K., & Ytrehus, S. (2018). Addressing uncertainty and stigma in social relations related to hidden dysfunctions following acquired brain injury. Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research, 20(1), 152-161. 10.16993/sjdr.24
The aim was to elucidate the experiences of people with mild to moderate acquired brain injury to learn how hidden dysfunctions influence their interactions in different social relations. A focus group of four sessions with the same five informants was conducted and analysed using qualitative content analysis. The analysis revealed one main theme: the dysfunctions created hidden challenges and uncertainty in the informants’ encounters with others. The main theme was illustrated by five sub-themes: uncertainty in encounters with others, an additional burden of being misunderstood, little consideration for hidden dysfunctions at work, little consideration for hidden dysfunctions from health and social services, and different coping strategies in encounters with others. The results emphasize the informants’ uncertainty in unfamiliar situations while adapting to changes in their functioning and addressing additional challenges due to the invisibility, unpredictability and stigmatization of their reduced functioning and to others’ ignorance regarding hidden dysfunctions.