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.