Background and purpose: Quality of Life (QoL) studies have received a substantial amount of attention in medical and rehabilitative practices. However, there is still a paucity of studies in the area, especially on persons with brain injuries (BI). This pilot study, on the QoL of individuals with brain injuries in Hong Kong, attempts to fill this void. It is hoped that the finding of this study will guide the development of programmes and services to people with brain injuries. Methods: Through the Self-help Group for People with Brain Damage in Hong Kong, 35 subjects (22 men and 13 women) were successfully recruited to participate in this study by convenience sampling. Demographic data were collected through face-to-face interviews guided by a questionnaire and QoL data were gathered using the Comprehensive Quality of Life Scale - Intellectual/Cognitive Disability - 5th edition (ComQol-I5). The general emotional condition of the participants over the past 2 months was measured by a validated Chinese version of the Positive and Negative Affect Scale (PANAS). The participants' ratings on the importance of and their satisfaction with 20 health services areas were also collected. Results: Preliminary results show that the overall mean quality of life score, as measured by ComQol-I5, was slightly less than two-thirds of the maximum score. Among the seven QoL domains, health and safety received some of the highest scores, while the lowest scores were obtained in the area of material well-being, place in community and productivity. People whose injuries had occurred relatively recently (less than 5 years ago) were found to have higher intimacy QoL scores than their counterparts injured more than 5 years ago. In the domain of safety, persons with a brain injury who were employed scored significantly higher than those who were not. Positive affect scores and the total affect of PANAS scores correlated significantly with the overall QoL scores. Moreover, persons with a brain injury usually felt satisfied with the services they valued as important. The top five most important services were medical services, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, vocational counselling and social work. Discussion and conclusion: The QoL profile of people with brain injuries in Hong Kong was initially obtained and low scores in the ComQoL were identified in the domains of material well-being, community activities and responsibility and productivity. These might be the consequences of their physical and cognitive limitations due to brain injury. This implies that appropriate interventions to improve their daily life conditions and their social integration would be necessary to improve their QoL. On the other hand, the BI sample also rated relatively high scores in other ComQoL areas such as safety and health, reflecting a good living environment and probably good health care services. Those whose brain injuries had occurred less than 5 years ago tended to have a higher ComQoL intimacy score than those whose injuries occurred more than 5 years ago. In other words, their social relationships may deteriorate with the longer period post-injury so that this group may need more supportive services. In the safety domain, it was found that subjects who were employed after their brain injury scored significantly higher than those who were not, which matched studies about the significant contribution of work towards life satisfaction. The satisfaction of their needs in the services they received, which may affect their QoL, was also investigated. It is clear that they valued the medical and rehabilitation services they received and felt satisfied with them.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Clinical Neurology