Amy Johnson


Many of the over 5 million survivors of traumatic brain injury (TBI) with related disabilities living in the community do not have support for their unmet needs. Adapting to life after TBI is difficult because of cognitive, emotional, and behavioral complications. Nurses and other healthcare professionals have the opportunity to promote positive outcomes for persons with TBI. However, to increase the depth and breadth of that support, nurses need a base of knowledge that includes an understanding of the TBI survivors' needs, vulnerabilities, and obstacles to adaptation. TBIs result in physical, psychological, developmental, and emotional losses. The needs that ensue are many and varied. Often these individuals do not respond to treatment in the same way as individuals whose losses involve only one aspect. Therefore, finding out what needs are most frequently unmet and what needs are perceived as important is critical in helping to stabilize this rapidly growing patient population. TBI survivors who live in the community may be at even greater risk of unmet needs because of policy changes and budget issues that negatively affect community-based services. The goals of this study were (a) to identify important needs for the TBI survivor, (b) to identify unmet needs, (c) to understand the TBI survivor's risk for physical vulnerability, and (d) to examine critical factors, including unmet needs, that most affect adaptation to the TBI and overall quality of life. The vehicles for presenting the results of this multifaceted project were two manuscripts, a mid-range theory of physical vulnerability and a research study of quality of life and adaptation using the Disability Centrality Model (Bishop, 2005).

Date of publication

Fall 12-4-2012

Document Type




Persistent identifier

Included in

Nursing Commons