Women Surviving Traumatic Brain Injury

Wendy N. Gomez, Augsburg College


The purpose of this qualitative, exploratory study is to determine the effects of traumatic brain injuries on the lives of women, based on self-report. This research consisted of face to face interviews with five female head injury survivors. The interview schedule, a structured list of open-ended questions, focused on issues of family system, social, physical, cognitive and emotional changes, effects on employment and experience with formal and informal community services. As theoretical frameworks I discuss Kubler- Ross's theory of grief and loss, the ABC-X model of stress and adaptation, and the body of head injury research which has focused largely on male subjects. Discussion focuses on a comparison of study findings to existing literature. Implications for social work practice exist are the need for advocacy and resources post-injury, as revealed by participants.