Date of Award

Spring 5-16-2016

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Social Work (DSW)

Department

Counseling and Human Services

First Advisor

Andrea Doyle, PhD

Second Advisor

Casey Bohrman, PhD

Third Advisor

Tessa Hart, PhD

Abstract

Work-related stress is a concern for brain injury rehabilitation professionals, and several research studies concluded this leads to burnout. There is limited research to identify what about working in brain injury rehabilitation increases the risk of work-related stress. This qualitative study utilized semi-structured interviews to explore what about working in brain injury rehabilitation is difficult, how brain injury rehabilitation professionals experience stress and what strategies professionals utilize to reduce stress. Results of this study suggest the lack of funding and resources, the nature of brain injury as a lifelong disability, and the arduous and lengthy rehabilitation process to be the most difficult aspects for professionals working in the brain injury rehabilitation field. Brain injury rehabilitation professionals identified anosognosia, poor insight, to be the most stressful cognitive deficit to treat. Frustration was expressed in regards to the challenge of balancing the completion of administrative duties with providing quality clinical care to survivors with brain injuries. Brain injury rehabilitation professionals experience the effects of work-related stress in both their work environments and in their personal lives. Brain injury rehabilitation professionals noted the importance of collaborating on an interdisciplinary team and utilizing their peers and supervisors for support when faced with stressful situations. Additionally, the term compassion fatigue appears to be the most relevant term to describe the nature of work-related stress experienced by brain injury rehabilitation professionals.

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Social Work Commons

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