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Research Article  |   May 2004
A Training Apartment With Electronic Aids To Daily Living: Lived Experiences of Persons With Brain Damage
Author Affiliations
  • Anette Erikson, MSC, is Occupational Therapist, University Lecturer, and Doctoral Student, Division of Occupational Therapy, Karolinska Institutet, Alfreds Nobels Allé 23, 141 83, Huddinge, Sweden; anette.erikson@neurotec.ki.se
  • Gunnar Karlsson, PhD, is Psychologist and Associated Professor, Department of Education, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Marianne Söderström, is Occupational Therapist, Head of the Occupational Therapy Department, The Rehabilitation Clinic, Danderyds Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Kerstin Tham, OT, PhD, is Head of the Division of Occupational Therapy, Neurotec Department, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden
Article Information
Neurologic Conditions / Traumatic Brain Injury / Community Living Skills
Research Article   |   May 2004
A Training Apartment With Electronic Aids To Daily Living: Lived Experiences of Persons With Brain Damage
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, May/June 2004, Vol. 58, 261-271. doi:10.5014/ajot.58.3.261
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, May/June 2004, Vol. 58, 261-271. doi:10.5014/ajot.58.3.261
Abstract

OBJECTIVE. The objective of this study was to investigate how persons with acquired brain damage experienced their 1-week stay in an apartment fitted with electronic aids to daily living (EADL). The study focused on how the individuals adapted to this artificial environment in their performance of daily activities and how their occupational experiences influenced their view of the future.

METHODS. The 11 participants were interviewed on the last day of their rehabilitation period in an EADL-equipped training apartment. The data were collected and analyzed using the Empirical Phenomenological Psychological (EPP) method.

FINDINGS. The findings revealed four main characteristics that described an adaptation process that occurred during the week in the EADL-equipped training apartment: plunging into an EADL-equipped environment, “landing” and feeling comfortable with the new environment, incorporating the “new” in daily activities, and “taking-off” for the future.

CONCLUSION. In a short time, the combination of the EADL and the aesthetically attractive environment gave the participants experiences that contributed to a “taking off” for their future life. Findings from this study suggest that, in clinical practice, clients may need initial guidance from the therapists to “land” and feel comfortable in a new environment, like a training apartment, before they can learn how to incorporate new electronic aids in their every day activities.