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Title: What are the experiences of adults returning to work following recovery from Guillain-Barré syndrome? An interpretative phenomenological analysis
Authors: Royal, E
Reynolds, FA
Houlden, H
Keywords: Guillain-Barré syndrome;Interpretative phenomenological analysis;Work;Stigma;Identify
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: Informa Healthcare
Citation: Disability and Rehabilitation, 31(22), 1817 - 1827, 2009
Abstract: Purpose. Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is a transient inflammatory disorder affecting peripheral nerves, characterised by weakness and numbness in limbs, upper body and face. Residual problems affect a large minority, and complicate return to work. This qualitative study explored the experiences of people who returned to work following their diagnosis of GBS and recovery, to gain insight into factors that facilitated or inhibited this process. Method. Five people participated in in-depth interviews. Individual and common experiences were explored through interpretative phenomenological analysis. Findings. Three recurring themes are presented: the perceived value of work; losing and recovering a familiar identity at work; and dilemmas around using support and adaptations at work. Certain individual issues also emerged but are beyond the scope of this article. Participants tended to measure their recovery in terms of returning to work yet continued to experience certain physical and psychosocial difficulties at work related to GBS, which required active coping strategies. Limited public awareness of GBS was perceived as a hindrance when returning to work. Conclusion. This study provides a rich account of the experiences that people encounter returning to work following GBS. Rehabilitation specialists may offer more effective preparation for this process, drawing upon the issues identified.
Description: This is the author's accepted manuscript. The final published article is available from the link below. Copyright @ 2009 Informa UK Ltd.
ISSN: 0963-8288
Appears in Collections:Occupational Therapy
Dept of Clinical Sciences Research Papers

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