Research Reports - Factors associated with strain in carers of people with traumatic brain injury

J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2012 Apr 10

Boycott N, Yeoman P, Vesey P.

OBJECTIVE:: To explore factors associated with strain in carers of patients with
traumatic brain injury. DESIGN:: Cross-sectional cohort study. PARTICIPANTS::
Forty-eight carers of patients with traumatic brain injury admitted to a
neurosurgical unit over a 9-year period were assessed an average of 9.3 years
after injury. MEASURES:: Caregiver Strain Index (CSI), Neurobehavioral
Functioning Inventory (NFI), Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS), Virginia Prediction
Tree Score, and carer and patient demographics. PROCEDURE:: Carers were assessed
via postal survey for levels of strain using the CSI and for their perception of
the patients' disabilities using the NFI. RESULTS:: Elevated levels of strain
were found in 42% of carers. Using logistic regression, outcome as rated by the
patients' general practitioner on the GOS and all subscales of the NFI (except
Somatic) explained 41% to 57% of the variance in strain and predicted group
membership correctly in 72.9% of cases. No individual variable contributed
significantly to the explained variance in the model. CONCLUSION:: A number of
factors appear to combine to result in feelings of strain, but the GOS could be
used as a crude screening tool. Interventions for cognitive, behavioral, and
emotional difficulties may be most useful for carers.

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