Research Reports - How important is resilience among family members supporting relatives with traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury?

Clin Rehabil. 2012 Sep 25

Simpson G, Jones K

Objective:To investigate the relationship between resilience and affective state,
caregiver burden and caregiving strategies among family members of people with
traumatic brain or spinal cord injury.Design:An observational prospective
cross-sectional study.Setting:Inpatient and community rehabilitation
services.Subjects:Convenience sample of 61 family respondents aged 18 years or
older at the time of the study and supporting a relative with severe traumatic
brain injury (n = 30) or spinal cord injury (n= 31).Main measures:Resilience
Scale, Positive And Negative Affect Schedule, Caregiver Burden Scale, Functional
Independence Measure, Carer's Assessment of Managing Index.Results:Correlational
analyses found a significant positive association between family resilience
scores and positive affect (r(s) = 0.67), and a significant negative association
with negative affect (r(s) = -0.47) and caregiver burden scores (r(s) = -0.47).
No association was found between family resilience scores and their relative's
severity of functional impairment. Family members with high resilience scores
rated four carer strategies as significantly more helpful than family members
with low resilience scores. Between-groups analyses (families supporting relative
with traumatic brain injury vs. spinal cord injury) found no significant
differences in ratings of the perceived helpfulness of carer strategies once
Bonferroni correction for multiple tests was applied.Conclusions:Self-rated
resilience correlated positively with positive affect, and negatively with
negative affect and caregiver burden. These results are consistent with
resilience theories which propose that people with high resilience are more
likely to display positive adaptation when faced by significant adversity.

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