Long-term effects of traumatic brain injury as perceived by parental and spousal caregivers: A mixed methods study
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a family affair. The purpose of this mixed methods study was to understand the needs, explore the experiences, and present the voices of adult caregivers of adult survivors of TBI and their families. Thirty-one caregivers of TBI survivors completed five questionnaires about their pre- and post-injury experiences. Both quantitative and qualitative data provided insights into families' journeys toward recovery. Findings showed differences between the experiences of spousal versus parental caregivers. Specifically, spousal and parental caregivers face different financial, social, and marital issues; exhibit unique progressions through the grieving process; experience different types of relationship losses; and face different self-esteem and family dynamic issues. Findings also revealed some contradictions to existing literature concerning the persistence of anxiety and depression among caregivers multiple years post-injury. Clinical implications relate to the recognition and assessment of family members' need and the development and application of support programs targeting family members of TBI survivors.
0620: Developmental psychology