Re-engaging with places: Understanding bio-geo-graphical disruption and flow in adult brain injury survivors

Louise Meijering, Nicky Theunissen, Ant T. Lettinga

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

10 Citaten (Scopus)
168 Downloads (Pure)


Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) is one of the most common causes of disability and death in adults worldwide. After a period of rehabilitation, many ABI survivors still face complex mind/body conditions when they try to take up their former life again. Besides lasting visible impairments such as weakness and loss of body balance, there are often less obvious disabilities such as extreme fatigue, hypersensitivity for stimuli, memory, concentration and attention problems or personality changes. The aim of this paper is to understand how ABI survivors and their significant others renegotiate their engagements with everyday places, using the concepts of bio-geo-graphical disruption and flow. We conducted in-depth interviews and did a place-mapping exercise with 18 adult ABI survivors and their significant others. The data were analysed according to the principles of thematic analysis, with use of Atlas.ti. In the struggles of ABI survivors' relations with place, our findings show diversity in personal experiences and strategies, as well as commonalities at a more general level. First, having access to meaningful places, old and new, and coming to terms with the fact that some places may not be accessible anymore, appeared to be vital in the participants' process of healing. Second, the interplay or, as we call it, reciprocity, between different places can contribute to wellbeing: for instance, the security and continuity found at home may enable ABI survivors to handle a trip to a crowded city centre. Thus, by framing mind/body problems of ABI survivors in terms of a network of meaningful places rather than as a body with lost functions, our study shows how the reciprocity between multiple places has a potentially positive effect on life post-ABI.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)22-30
Aantal pagina's9
TijdschriftSocial Science and Medicine
Vroegere onlinedatum5-mei-2018
StatusPublished - jun.-2019

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