Men are twice as likely as women to experience a traumatic brain injury (TBI), suggesting that aspects of masculine identity contribute to how people acquire their brain injuries. Research also suggests that masculine identity impacts on how people manage their health experiences. The current study aimed to explore the experience of masculine identity following TBI. Individual interviews were conducted with 10 men aged 21–67 years who had experienced a TBI. All were living in the community. Interpretative phenomenological analysis was used to consider lived experiences and to explore the meaning of the TBI experience in relation to masculine identity. Three superordinate themes emerged from the analysis: doing life and relationships differently, self-perceptions and the perceived view of others, and managing the impact of TBI as a man. These themes are considered in relation to how participants' experiences interacted with dominant social ideals of masculine identity. The findings highlighted how masculine identity may be a valuable aspect of self in considering threats to and reconstruction of self-identity after TBI. Aspects of gender identity should be considered in order to promote engagement, support adjustment and achieve meaningful outcomes in rehabilitation.
- Traumatic brain injury
- Masculine identity
- INTERPRETATIVE PHENOMENOLOGICAL ANALYSIS