Exploring Postinjury Living Environments for Children and Youth With Acquired Brain Injury
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OBJECTIVES: To explore and describe the extent to which children and youth (10-18y) with acquired brain injury in Ontario are living in environments considered inappropriate, to describe the nature of services and supports in those environments, and to determine appropriate living environments for children and youth with acquired brain injury. DESIGN: A mixed-methods approach with a case-study design was used in which the living environment represented the case. This article reports on the qualitative component. SETTING: Community agencies and service providers. PARTICIPANTS: Forty-four service providers across a wide range of profit and nonprofit services for children and youth with acquired brain injury throughout the province of Ontario. INTERVENTIONS: Not applicable. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Semistructured in-depth interviews with participants. RESULTS: Seven major themes emerged from the data: kids go home, a continuum of appropriateness, show me the way home, same chapter different story, cracking the acquired brain injury code, who said care was fair, and coping, and managing and advocating: new dimensions for families. Important service recommendations were also reported. CONCLUSIONS: Most children and youth with acquired brain injury are living at home. The level of appropriateness of the environment for children and youth after acquired brain injury can depend on multiple interrelated factors including type and severity of acquired brain injury, existing services and service delivery, acquired brain injury knowledge, and family's ability to cope and manage.
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