Year of Publication

2009

Date of Thesis

10-2009

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Occupational Therapy

Abstract

Following a traumatic injury, individuals may experience decreased quality of life, occupational engagement, and independence. The typical rehabilitation process focuses on safety and activities of daily living (ADLs). Due to limited time; client's more personally referenced activities and occupations may not be addressed. The objective of this study was to determine if individuals who have undergone a traumatic injury, such as a burn, spinal cord injury or amputation, will experience a shift in occupational identity. The objective was also to determine if individuals following a traumatic injury will experience a decrease in participation in meaningful occupations. A mixed methods approach was used. A researcher created survey was employed containing multiple choice and short answer questions. The population utilized was individuals over the age of 18 who were l-5 years post traumatic injury. Following a traumatic injury individuals experience a shift in roles, attitudes, activities, and/or values. One-hundred percent of participants experienced a change in activities, 98% experienced change in roles, 97% would change their roles in some way, 90% experienced a change in values, and 85% would change their activities in some way. The majority of participants described themselves as less active than before the injury. In activities and roles, participants identified an increased focus on family, decrease in employment, decreased socialization, and increased focus on basic life skills like ADLs. Occupational therapists can better help individuals to identify and participate in meaningful activities through knowledge of decreased meaningful activity engagement following traumatic injury. Understanding that a shift will occur, and the individual may not necessarily be the same person following the injury may assist in the transition Process.

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