Purpose: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is prevalent in Kentucky and comes with a high cost in care and quality of life for individuals and caregivers affected. Many people living with the condition of TBI have unmet needs. Research among people living with TBI in rural areas is limited. The purposes of this study were to (1) increase understanding of the lived experience of people with TBI and caregivers in rural regions of Kentucky across the continuum of their care and (2) provide their perspectives on barriers and facilitators of optimal function and well-being.

Methods: A qualitative descriptive interview study was conducted by a multidisciplinary team. Content analysis was completed with data-derived coding and iterative modifications to analysis, coalescing codes into categories and themes.

Results: Thirteen people with TBI and six caregivers participated in the interview. Categories that emerged in analysis included the experiences under each locus of care; themes included relationships, functional competence, and participation in meaningful activity.

Conclusion: Relationships represented both barriers and facilitators of well-being. Major unmet needs persisted in terms of medical problems, support for caregivers, community linkages, and participation in meaningful activities. Recommendations are made regarding avenues for addressing unmet needs.

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Notes/Citation Information

Published in Disability and Rehabilitation, v. 39, issue 20, p. 2071-2080.

© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

The copyright holder has granted the permission for posting the article here.

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Disability and Rehabilitation on 22 Aug 2016, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/09638288.2016.1217081.

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Funding Information

This project was funded in part through a grant from NIH-NCMHD-1RC4MD005760 (Principal Investigators Anne Harrison and Patrick Kitzman).