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Determining the quality of life in persons with acquired brain injury

Mateja Balanč (2017) Determining the quality of life in persons with acquired brain injury. MSc thesis.

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    Abstract

    Identifying and assessing the quality of life of persons with acquired brain injury is an important element of rehabilitation, and enables assistance and support to both the injured and their families. By identifying and assessing quality of life, we can better understand the impact of injuries on the individual and his/her life. Different levels of injuries can severely affect cognitive, physical, emotional-behavioral and social life not only of a injured person but also of members of his family and other persons close to him/her. The purpose of the study is to determine which are general and specific areas of the acquired brain injury that affect the quality of one's life, and based on the results to assess the needs of persons with acquired brain injury in their rehabilitation programs. The study was to determine which quality of life is most affected by brain injury. Our focus was also an assessment of the relative, by which we wanted to find out if the functioning of a family member is experienced similarly as to injured himself, and to what extent the damage marked and changed family member’s life. To assess the quality of life we used a questionnaire Quality of Life After Brain Injury by Von Steinbuechel, the author, and her colleagues. We assessed the following areas: thinking abilities, emotions, self perceptions, independence, functioning in daily life, social relationships, mood, physical limitations and general well-being. As a further test, we used a questionnaire European Brain Injury Questionnaire, author Teasdale and his colleagues, with which we got the information on how often in everyday life the injured faces problems in various fields: somatic disorders, cognition, motivation, impulsivity, depression, isolation, physical condition, communication, general well-being. In addition to assessing the frequency of problems, we determined the correlation between individual areas of difficulties and connections of quality of life with a variety of factors. The latter were gender, age, education, and elapsed time of the injury. The study included 40 participants, including 20 people with acquired brain injury and 20 of their relatives (one relative of each person with acquired brain injury). In the group of persons with acquired brain injury was 75 % of men and 25 % of women with average age of the total M = 42,70. In this study we analyzed the frequency of problems in different areas after the brain injury, and in the analysis we used answers of persons with acquired brain injury as well as answers of their relatives. For persons with acquired brain injury, we conducted an analysis of the overall subjective assessment of the situation and the subjective experience of its own functioning and satisfaction in various areas of quality of life. The results showed that in the group of persons with acquired brain injury most commonly occurring problems are in the areas of cognition, communication and isolation, the least densely individuals perceived problems in the field of motivation and depression. Comparing the responses of the two groups showed that relatives in most cases frequently observed more problems in different areas, as observed by the injured themselves, the differences are minimal and not statistically significant. Also, relatives themselves generally consider that the injury has had bigger affect on them than persons with the injury believe. However, on average all participants find that the injury has at least slightly changed life of relatives, that they are facing different problems and that their mood has changed a little, too. In comparing the observed average quality of life in regard to gender, the results showed that the quality of life of men, on average, is slightly higher than the quality of life of women. The latter have a high quality of life in all areas except in the area of physical problems (M = 39,00), wherein their quality of life is low, and in the area of cognition (M = 56,43), wherein the quality of their life is average. Considering the general condition, men are more satisfied than women (Mm = 66,11; Mw = 62,50), but for both sexes general quality of life is high. In comparing the average quality of life in regard to age, the results showed that the highest quality of life in all areas is in a middle age group (40 - 49 years), while the lowest quality of life is observed in the youngest age group (up to 39 years). Despite the differences between the age groups of participants we observed that the differences in the quality of life in terms of age groups are minimal and not statistically significant. In comparing the observed average quality of life per level of education, we found that people with secondary and high education achieve a higher quality of life in most areas compared to persons with incomplete or complete primary education, or short secondary education. When observing the general well-being, participants with higher education are on average more satisfied than participants with lower education (Mh = 66,11; Ml = 62,50), however, on average the quality of life of both groups is high. The results did not show statistically significant differences in any of the areas. When comparing the quality of life in relation to the number of elapsed years from injury, we have found that people with up to 10 years of injury reach a higher quality of life in most areas than people with over 10 years from injury. Statistically significant differences in the quality of life of both groups are occurring in the area of emotions (p = 0,01) and physical problems (p = 0,02), where the persons with over 10 years from injury indicate a lower quality of life in comparison with the other group.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: determining the quality of life, people with acquired brain injury, brain
    Number of Pages: 65
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    izr. prof. dr. Janez JermanMentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=11656009)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 4585
    Date Deposited: 18 Jul 2017 14:41
    Last Modified: 18 Jul 2017 14:41
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/4585

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