Alcohol-related brain damage: narrative storylines and risk constructions

John Keady, Charlotte Clarke, Heather Wilkinson, Catherine Gibb, Linda Williams, Anna Luce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


To date, the voice and experience of people with alcohol-related brain damage has been silent in the literature. Using narrative research methodology and a focus on risk and quality of life, this paper outlines the analysis of interviews with six people with alcohol-related brain damage who were resident on a specialist care unit for the condition. Of the six participants, four were interviewed twice in line with the study protocol and separate interviews were conducted with a key worker on the unit, a social worker and a relative of one of the female participants. Analysis of the interviews revealed three dominant, narrative storylines: Five Minute Memory; Fractured Lives; and Believing in Recovery. Risk was constructed and experienced in a variety of ways under each of these narrative storylines, but each participant was particularly vulnerable to the assimilation of alcohol-related brain damage as a component and projection of self and identity. In addition, the process of 'prompting' emerged as a way that care staff constructed and discharged their rehabilitative function on the care unit and worked to minimise risk factors. A more co-ordinated, robust and transparent funding, policy, education and service structure for people with alcohol-related brain damage is called for.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-340
JournalHealth, Risk & Society
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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