Computer-mediated communication is the use of computer networking systems to communicate with others. Today, this usually comes in the form of E-mail and social media messages. For those who have suffered a traumatic brain injury, computer-mediated communication can aid in recovery by helping the injured cope with the isolation brought on by brain injury. It can also help them connect with other patients who have experienced the same injury.
Emotional Struggles for the Injured
Those who suffer with a traumatic brain injury often express a feeling that others do not take their ideas or feelings seriously. Relatives become impatient and frustrated with the slowed communication that comes from difficulty with forming and sharing ideas. Upon being discharged to the home, many patients feel disengaged and alone. The changes brought on by the injury makes it hard for patients to recognize the self they knew before. Patients may feel they are burdens to loved ones and react with anxiety, sensitivity to criticism and anger.
How Computers Help
By using computer-mediated communication, patients can reach out and speak freely with others about their ideas, without feeling judged or dismissed. Those receiving the messages do not experience the delay in communication because the injured can take their time in composing the messages. E-mails or messages are sent complete, giving the writers as much time as they need to think about and explain ideas.
Electronic communication is even more important for patients who do not have access to effective care. Computers can also help isolated patients connect with others. Keeping the brain active and engaged is important to healing. By helping patients form relationships and communicate with others, computer-mediated communication stimulates healing.
There is great potential for the use of computer-mediated communication to improve the quality of life for those with traumatic brain injury. Brain injury forums, social sharing sites and information to help patients find local support groups all help patients overcome the frustration and stress of recovery. Depression is a danger for brain-injured patients and the social support can help they stay emotionally healthy while the brain heals.
There are not enough studies to show whether patients can receive therapy by way of computer communication and more research is needed. Unfortunately, there is little funding for such studies. Some worry that treatment by electronic communication poses a risk to patient privacy, should the communication security be compromised.
Currently, tracking the computer-mediated communication is limited to the text sent in e-mails and chat sessions. Forums may be reviewed for general information, but the information cannot be connected with clinical records. Researchers hope to find a more concrete connection between patient records and patient electronic communications so that they can study and verify the benefits of computer-mediated communication.
If you have experienced a traumatic brain injury, contact our office. We will provide you with a free consultation of your case. We will also work with you to ensure that you are compensated for any medical bills or loss of income due to your injury.