The potential of a narrative and creative arts approach to enhance transition outcomes for Indigenous Australians following traumatic brain injury

Bohanna, India, Fitts, Michelle, Bird, Katrina, Fleming, Jennifer, Gilroy, John, Clough, Alan, Esterman, Adrian, Maruff, Paul, and Potter, Martin (2019) The potential of a narrative and creative arts approach to enhance transition outcomes for Indigenous Australians following traumatic brain injury. Brain Impairment, 20 (Special issue 2). pp. 160-170.

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Background: Increasingly, narrative and creative arts approaches are being used to enhance recovery after traumatic brain injury (TBI). Narrative and arts-based approaches congruent with Indigenous storytelling may therefore provide benefit during the transition from hospital to home for some Indigenous TBI patients. This qualitative study explored the use and impact of this approach as part of a larger, longitudinal study of TBI transition with Indigenous Australians.

Method: A combined narrative and arts-based approach was used with one Indigenous Australian artist to describe his transition experiences following TBI. Together with the researchers and filmmaking team, the artist was involved in aspects of the process. The artist contributed two paintings, detailing the story of his life and TBI. Based on the artworks, a film was co-created. Following the viewing of the film, impacts of the narrative and arts-based process were examined through semi-structured interviews with the artist, a service provider and a family member. Multiple sources of data were used in the final thematic analysis including transcripts of the interviews and filming, paintings (including storylines) and researcher notes.

Results: Positive impacts from the process for the artist included positive challenge; healing and identity; understanding TBI and raising awareness.

Discussion: This approach may enable the individual to take ownership over their transition story and to make sense of their life following TBI at a critical point in their recovery. A combined narrative and arts-based approach has potential as a culturally responsive rehabilitation tool for use with Indigenous Australians during the transition period following TBI.

Item ID: 59156
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1839-5252
Keywords: Traumatic brain injury; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health; narrative; rehabilitation; cultural safety
Copyright Information: © Australasian Society for the Study of Brain Impairment 2019
Funders: National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
Projects and Grants: NHMRC project grant number 1081947
Date Deposited: 04 Sep 2019 03:35
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111701 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9203 Indigenous Health > 920399 Indigenous Health not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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