Putting a human face to severe traumatic brain injury research : a review of neuropsychological rehabilitation, obsessive-compulsive disorder and caregiver burden with respect to the case of BP : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Psychology at Massey University
The following thesis is a review of several issues relating to severe brain injury. The theories and research literature were also paired with the case study of a young man who had suffered a severe TBI three years ago, and the outcomes and rehabilitation that he has faced since and continued to face. The case study and theory can be read separately, but it is together that they may help to put a human face on the TBI literature. Rehabilitation principles and theories are described in order to present a picture of an ideal rehabilitation plan, and then contrasted by the case study to demonstrate the difficulties that are inherent in severe TBI. Despite careful adherence to rehabilitation principles, the rehabilitation process remains difficult and lengthy. The research literature regarding obsessive-compulsive disorder and TBI are discussed in reference to aspects of the current case study and impulse control disorders in general. The caregiver burden research literature, particularly with regard to that of TBI, is also reviewed, with reference again to the current case study. A plea is made for more flexible, functionally-relevant rehabilitation models, that attempt to take into account the true complexities involved in severe TBI rehabilitation. The use of case studies in future TBI research, along with the larger-sampled empirical studies, may aid our understanding of TBI and its rehabilitation from a more human real-life perspective.