Primary objective: To investigate how a vestibular deficit following an acquired brain injury (ABI) affects an individuals' quality-of-life. Research design: A qualitative exploratory design. Participants: Nine community dwelling individuals who experienced significant symptoms and limitations as a result of their vestibular deficits. Methods: The individuals participated in face-to-face interviews with open ended questions. Data was analysed initially using a case study research approach, exploring the experience for each individual and then cross-case analysis to determine common themes for the group with the assistance of nVivo 10 qualitative analysis software. Results: Thematic analysis determined four main themes arising from the interviews; (1) validation, (2) definitive diagnosis is more difficult amongst an array of ABI symptoms, (3) vestibular adaptation is more difficult in the presence of an ABI and (4) emotional and social. Conclusion: Individuals who suffer a brain injury and experience vestibular symptoms as part of their overall presentation are not diagnosed in a timely manner, with individuals, their families, associates and even health professionals feeling uncertain of the legitimacy of their reported symptoms. It is important that all patients who experience an acquired brain injury are screened for vestibular impairment and, if necessary, receive vestibular rehabilitation including explanation and education.
- Acquired brain injury
- Vestibular deficit