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Table 2 Illustrative quotes for Theme 1 - Recovery is regaining independence

From: I’ve got to be independent’: views of older people on recovery following road traffic injury in New South Wales, Australia

P11 (85–89 years, upper limb dislocation)
‘I had of course to feed myself with my left hand, do everything with my left hand as I had no capacity in my right hand. But look, I got through that … really it was just a matter of letting it heal … I suppose it was worse for my wife who had to do the driving and do the shopping and things like that’.
P10 (65–69 years, multiple arm fractures)
‘I couldn’t live on my own because I couldn’t do anything for myself... I couldn’t cut my food, I couldn’t drive … I couldn’t do anything, so I had to go and live with [my daughter] permanently which wasn’t my choice’.
P1 (70–74 years, whiplash)
‘I don’t have enough strength in my arm to be able to start the lawnmower, so unless someone comes and starts it for me the lawn doesn’t get mowed, you know?’
P5 (70–74 years, leg injuries)
‘I got up and had my shower each day, very slow, I could hardly walk … I said [to the nurses], “No, I want be independent, I’ve got to use my legs”’.
P5 (70–74 years, leg injuries)
‘I walked around the shops today... [for] maybe an hour and half … I mean the walking’s not helping but I think it is helping somewhere inside because it is exercise every day. You need to be able to walk and do those things.
P3 (70–74 years, head injury)
‘I still couldn’t drive for about three weeks. They just wanted to make sure that everything was okay … in case there was a recurrence or something, which is fair enough. But it annoyed me because I wanted to drive’.
P4 (70–74 years, fractured sternum)
‘I felt hesitant the first time because where I lived, I always have to go through this roundabout. So, the very first time, yes, I was a bit hesitant, but I thought, no, I’ve got to do it. So, I’m just probably a little bit more careful or cautious could I say. But after that I was fine’.
P2 (80–85 years, upper & lower limb injuries)
‘I hadn’t normally until very recently needed help. I was showering, dressing and that sort of thing. But since … the pain and problems have come back … the last fortnight I actually do need a bit of help dressing. Now that’s never happened before in my life. When you’ve been just picking up things for 85 years, you know, suddenly to say, “Now don’t pick that up, or don’t reach for that” it’s very, very difficult’.