Research Reports - Relatives of patients with severe brain injury: Growth curve analysis of anxiety and depression the first year after injury

Brain Inj. 2015 May 12:1-8

Norup A(1), Petersen J, Mortensen EL

PRIMARY OBJECTIVE: To investigate trajectories and predictors of trajectories of
anxiety and depression in relatives of patients with a severe brain injury during
the first year after injury.
RESEARCH DESIGN: A prospective longitudinal study with four repeated
measurements.
SUBJECTS: Ninety relatives of patients with severe brain injury.
METHODS: The relatives were assessed on the anxiety and depression scales from
the Symptom Checklist-90-Revised and latent variable growth curve models were
used to model the trajectories. The effects of patient's age, patient's Glasgow
Coma Score, level of function and consciousness, gender and relationship of the
relatives were modelled.
RESULTS: Improvement was found in both symptoms of anxiety and depression during
the 12-month study period. The analysis revealed different trajectories for
symptoms of anxiety and depression, as anxiety had a more rapid improvement.
Higher initial level of symptoms of depression was seen in female relatives.
Higher initial level of anxiety was associated with younger patient age, lower
level of function and consciousness in the patient and the relative being female
or the spouse.
CONCLUSION: Future research and interventions should focus not only on specific
deficits in the patient, but also on how the emotional state and well-being of
the relatives evolve, while trying to adjust and cope with a new life-situation.

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