Research Reports - Relationship of caregiver and family functioning to outcomes after postacute rehabilitation for traumatic brain injury

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2012 Mar 12.

Original title: Relationship of Caregiver and Family Functioning to Participation Outcomes After Postacute Rehabilitation for Traumatic Brain Injury: A Multicenter Investigation.

Sander AM, Maestas KL, Sherer M, Malec JF, Nakase-Richardson R.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the contribution of caregiver emotional functioning and
family functioning to participation outcomes after postacute rehabilitation for
traumatic brain injury (TBI). DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. SETTING: Three
postacute comprehensive-integrated postacute rehabilitation programs associated
with National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research-funded TBI
Model Systems Centers. PARTICIPANTS: Persons with medically documented TBI
(N=136; 57% with severe TBI, 12% moderate, 31% mild), primarily men and 69%
white. INTERVENTIONS: Not applicable. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Community
Integration Questionnaire and Craig Handicap Assessment and Reporting Technique
(CHART). RESULTS: After accounting for age, education, sex, and race/ethnicity,
there was a significant interaction between caregiver emotional functioning and
time since injury for CHART Occupation and Social Integration Scale scores.
Better emotional functioning in caregivers was associated with greater occupation
and social integration outcomes for persons who entered the postacute
rehabilitation program within 6 months of injury, but not for those >6 months
postinjury. There was no relationship of family functioning to participation
outcomes, and no interaction between family functioning and time since injury.
CONCLUSIONS: Caregiver distress should be accounted for in studies investigating
the effectiveness of postacute rehabilitation after TBI. Screening of caregivers early during postacute rehabilitation can target those who need assistance to improve their support of the person with TBI.

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