Credentials Display

Barbara Prudhomme White, OTR/L, PhD; Abigail K. Brinkman, BS, MSOT; Barbara P. Kresge, M.S., CBIS, OTR/L; Lisa Couture, MSW


Background: This paper examines specific program elements of a community-based program for individuals living with brain injury. Results from a previous study suggested that members who attended regularly reported lower stress perception, higher quality of life perception, and higher social connectedness than did peers living in the community without such supports. In this study, we sought to understand reasons for their perceptions about how the program may have been helpful in shaping their perspectives of living with the effects of brain injury.

Methods: An explanatory case-study approach was applied, using multiple cases. Nine individuals were randomly selected from a subsample of the original outcomes study. Individuals were interviewed using a series of semi-structured and open-ended questions for 60-90 min about the way the community-based program may have impacted their lives.

Results: Narrative transcripts from participant interviews were reviewed by the authors and organized into four prominent themes that illustrated important member-centric outcomes of the program.

Conclusions: This study explored key attributes and characteristics that may contribute to the effectiveness of a community-based program for persons living with chronic brain injury. Themes that emerged from member interviews align with occupational therapy theories and may be helpful in shaping community-based practice.


Compliance with ethical standards

1. No external funding was used to conduct this study

2. Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest

Author 1: The primary author has been a research partner with Krempels Center for the past 3 years. The Krempels Center is a nonprofit organization serving persons with brain injury in the community. Dr. White is an associate professor in the College of Health and Human Services, University of New Hampshire, and has been assisting the Krempels Center in collecting outcomes research. As part of her research relationship with the Krempels Center, she was asked 18 months ago to become a member of the Board of Directors. There is no financial relationship between Dr. White and the Krempels Center.

Author 2 has no prior relationship with Krempels Center.

Author 3 is an employee of Krempels Center.

Author 4 is an employee of Krempels Center.

3. Research involving human participants and/or animals: The research described in the paper was reviewed by our university institutional review board for compliance with national and professional research ethics in working with human participants. All participants interviewed are their own personal guardians.

4. Informed consent: The research protocol was reviewed by the UNH IRB for ethical compliance in research with human participants. All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.