Lene Bastrup

The temporality of uncertainty in decision-making and treatment of severe brain injury

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The aim of the study is to investigate how time and uncertainties of clinical action and decision-making plays out in the practical work of early neurorehabilitation in order to present new analytical ways to understand the underlying logics and dynamic social processes that take place during professional treatment of patients with severe acquired brain injury. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork in a Danish neuro-intensive step-down unit (NISU) specialising in early neurorehabilitation, we found that negotiation of futures takes place in the modern ICU in the present by strategically building upon past experiences. We have argued that the clinical programme therefore cannot be understood only from a “here and now perspective”, since the early neurorehabilitation practice is embedded in overlapping temporalities of the past, the present, and desired futures. The study discusses the underlying logics —often hidden or unnoticed—that impact clinical practice of early neurorehabilitation, in what we have termed a logic of clinical reenactment, a logic of future negotiation and a logic of paradox.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0238506
Issue10 October
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020

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