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Uncovering the social determinants of brain injury rehabilitation

Dunne, Stephen; Williams, Glenn P; Bradbury, Chloe; Keyes, Tamsin; Lane, Alison R.; Yang, Keming; Ellison, Amanda

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Stephen Dunne

Glenn P Williams

Chloe Bradbury

Tamsin Keyes


Social determinants of health (SDH), such as social isolation and loneliness, are often more frequently experienced in brain injury survivors. The paper explores the personal experiences of loneliness among brain injury survivors during lockdown to negate health inequalities and improve rehabilitation for this population in the future. Twenty-four brain injury survivors participated in semi-structured interviews and questionnaires relating to loneliness, resilience and wellbeing. Three themes (the experience of loneliness, loneliness during the pandemic and loneliness after the pandemic) explored survivors’ experiences of loneliness generally post-brain injury, but also chronicle how these feelings developed in lockdown and survivors’ feelings regarding society returning to ‘normal’. Future interventions should focus on reframing survivors’ beliefs regarding societal expectations and minimise the pressure they experience to keep up with their peers physically and emotionally. Additionally, we recommend creating accessible peer support options for all brain injury survivors as an important step for alleviating loneliness.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Apr 7, 2023
Publication Date 2023-09
Deposit Date Apr 17, 2023
Publicly Available Date Apr 17, 2023
Journal Journal of Health Psychology
Print ISSN 1359-1053
Electronic ISSN 1461-7277
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 28
Issue 10
Public URL


Published Journal Article (115 Kb)

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Copyright Statement
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (

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