Latchem, Julie

Julie Latchem
Start date:
October 2013
Research Topic:
Futures in brain injury rehabilitation
Research pathway:
Research Supervisor:
Professor Joanna Latimer, Dr Sara MacBride-Stewart
Supervising school:
School of Social Sciences,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

Brain injuries can cause catastrophic impairments which leave profound implications for patients, their families, health and social care. Many people with brain injuries undergo a period of rehabilitation, a future orientated process which looks to maximize function, physically, cognitively and socially whilst minimising medical complications.
Positive relationships between patients, families and health care professionals are fundamental to good care. These relationships however can become extremely strained during rehabilitation as efforts to control the future, to influence the outcome of injury, and to shape the identity and care of a patient with brain injury has to be negotiated within a situation of extreme medical uncertainty.

Using the concept of `futures’ as a lens this research explores the challenges in negotiating the triad of patient, family and professional relationships generated by the `not yet’ (Adam and Grove 2007) but imminent aspects of care and treatment in the present.

This research seeks to answer:
How are the futures of people with severe brain injury, their families and HCPs shaped and negotiated during rehabilitation through:
a) Day to day interaction
b) Organisational process and practice
c) Policy
What constitutes positive relationships in brain injury rehabilitation?
What challenges and tensions arise in the relationships between patients, their families and HCPs during the rehabilitative process, what causes them, and how are they resolved?

Selected Recent Publications:

Latchem, J. & Greenhalgh, J. (2014). The role of reading on the health and wellbeing of people with neurological conditions: A systematic review.  Aging and Mental Health. Early online:

Latchem, J. & Kitzinger, J. (2012). What is important to residents with neurological conditions and their relatives in long-term neurological care settings. [Online]
Available at:

Latchem, J., Kitzinger, J. & Kitzinger, C. (2015). Physiotherapy for vegetative and minimally conscious state patients: family perceptions and experiences. Disability and Rehabilitation. Early Online pp. 1-8

Latchem, J. & Kitzinger, J. (2015). Breaking down barriers: the importance of good relationships. Nursing and Residential Care 16(12), pp. 512-514.