Quality of Life and its influencing Determinants for People with Acquired Brain Injuries
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Technical University Munich Germany
Università Degli Studi Firenze Action Research for CO Development (ARCO) Italy
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A1377
Background and objective:
A person with an acquired brain injury (ABI) faces multidimensional capability deprivations which in turn affect their well-being and quality of life (QoL). Free time (FT) activities play an important role in subjective well-being as they provide opportunities to meet life values and needs. This is especially relevant for people with disabilities (PwD), as they are often unwillingly confronted with a large amount of FT. The motivation for this work is that health-related indicators are not sufficient to explain the QoL of PwD as their well-being is directly linked to their ability to use their time in a fulfilling way. Applying Amartya’s Sens Capability Approach for the first time from a disability perspective allows for illustrating the complexity of the determinants of the well-being of PwD.

Data collected between 2012 and 2014 from a large-scale survey, in-depth interviews and focus group discussions of a sample of 378 families having one member with an ABI in two districts in Northern and Central Italy, is analysed. The quantitative analysis allows for insights into the quantity and quality of FT in light of well-being indicators. The combination with the qualitative insights of the interviews allows for drawing a conclusion regarding their overall life satisfaction.

Results and conclusion:
The results indicate that the QoL of both PwD and their families are influenced by the household’s economic vulnerability and low quality of social relations. Most importantly the research provides first indications of a negative correlation between the quantity and the quality of FT. This allows the formulation of policy implications for the improvement of the QoL of PwD, specifically that economic support alone is not sufficient. Public interventions must support the capability set expansion of PwD regarding their FT, i.e., the participation in purposeful, goal-oriented leisure activities, to improve their QoL.