Original research| Volume 97, ISSUE 2, SUPPLEMENT , S64-S70, February 2016

Being a Woman With Acquired Brain Injury: Challenges and Implications for Practice

Published:February 06, 2015DOI:



      To explore the experiences of women with acquired brain injury (ABI) to gain greater insight into their general and sex- and gender-specific health and well-being concerns, and to identify areas for future research.


      A qualitative pilot study using interpretive description methodology and a sex-and gender-based analysis of data collected through focus groups.




      A sample of survivors, and formal and informal caregivers of women with ABI (N=16).


      Not applicable.

      Main Outcome Measures

      Not applicable.


      Participants identified significant barriers to achieving optimal health and well-being for women survivors of ABI, including a lack of knowledgeable professionals. We identify 3 interrelated themes: (1) experiences shaped by gender norms and roles; (2) experiences influenced by physiological phenomena, including perceived hormone imbalances; and (3) experiences surrounding interpersonal relationships and sexuality.


      Post-ABI care should include education about the influences of sex and gender on health and well-being. Acknowledging the impact of gendered roles, and the broader sociopolitical context of gender and disability, is important to develop appropriate services and supports after ABI. Incorporating effective communication strategies between patient and health care professional can also be a potent rehabilitation strategy.


      List of abbreviations:

      ABI (acquired brain injury), WLE (woman with lived experience)
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