Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, University of Toronto, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, 160-500 University Ave., Toronto, ON, Canada, M5G 1V7. firstname.lastname@example.org
There is a lack of knowledge about how cultural ideas affect First Nations peoples' perception of rehabilitation needs and the ability to access services.
The study explored the perceptions of treating and healing brain injury from First Nations elders and traditional healers in the communities served by Wassay-Gezhig-Na-Nahn-Dah-We-lgamig (Kenora Area Health Access Centre).
A participatory action approach was used, leading to a focus group with elders and traditional healers. Findings, established through a framework analysis method, were member checked prior to dissemination.
Four themes arose from the data: pervasiveness of spirituality, "fixing" illness or injury versus living with wellness, working together in treating brain injury, and financial support needed for traditional healing.
Funding is required for traditional healing services to provide culturallysafe and responsive occupational therapy services to First Nations individuals with brain injury.
To explore the experiences of health care practitioners working with Aboriginal clients recovering from acquired brain injury (ABI).
Participatory research design using qualitative methods.
Fourteen in-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted. The Framework Method of analysis was used to uncover emerging themes.
Five main categories emerged: practitioners' experience with brain injury, practitioners' experience with Aboriginal clients, specialized needs of Aboriginal clients recovering from brain injury, culturally sensitive care and traditional healing methods. These categories were then further divided into emergent themes and sub-themes where applicable, with particular emphasis on the specialized needs of Aboriginal clients.
Each emergent theme highlighted key challenges experienced by Aboriginal peoples recovering from ABI. A key challenge was that protocols for rehabilitation and discharge planning are often lacking for clients living on reserves or in remote communities. Other challenges included lack of social support; difficulty of travel and socio-cultural factors associated with post-acute care; and concurrent disorders.
Results suggest that developing reasonable protocols for discharge planning of Aboriginal clients living on reserves and/or remote communities should be considered a priority.