Theadom, A., Rowland, V., Levack, W., Starkey, N. J., Wilkinson-Meyers, L., & McPherson, K. (2016). Exploring the experience of sleep and fatigue in male and female adults over the 2 years following traumatic brain injury: a qualitative descriptive study. BMJ OPEN, 6(4). http://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2015-010453
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/10540
𝐎𝐛𝐣𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐬 To explore the experience of fatigue and sleep difficulties over the first 2 years after traumatic brain injury (TBI). 𝐃𝐞𝐬𝐢𝐠𝐧 Longitudinal qualitative descriptive analysis of interviews completed as part of a larger longitudinal study of recovery following TBI. Data relating to the experience of fatigue and/or sleep were extracted and coded by two independent researchers. 𝐒𝐞𝐭𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 Community-based study in the Hamilton and Auckland regions of New Zealand. 𝐏𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐢𝐩𝐚𝐧𝐭𝐬 30 adult participants who had experienced mild, moderate or severe brain injury within the past 6 months (>16 years of age). 15 participants also nominated significant others to take part. Interviews were completed at 6, 12 and 24 months postinjury. 𝐑𝐞𝐬𝐮𝐥𝐭𝐬 Participants described feeling unprepared for the intensity, impact and persistent nature of fatigue and sleep difficulties after injury. They struggled to learn how to manage their difficulties by themselves and to adapt strategies in response to changing circumstances over time. Four themes were identified: (1) Making sense of fatigue and sleep after TBI; (2) accepting the need for rest; (3) learning how to rest and; (4) need for rest impacts on ability to engage in life. 𝐂𝐨𝐧𝐜𝐥𝐮𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 Targeted support to understand, accept and manage the sleep and fatigue difficulties experienced may be crucial to improve recovery and facilitate engagement in everyday life. Advice needs to be timely and revised for relevance over the course of recovery.
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