Research Reports - The impact of alexithymia on relationship quality and satisfaction following traumatic brain injury

J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2012 Oct 16

Williams C, Wood RL

OBJECTIVES:: To explore relationship quality and satisfaction in couples
following traumatic brain injury (TBI), obtaining the perspective of both
patients with TBI and their noninjured partner; to examine the impact of
alexithymia on ratings of relationship quality and satisfaction following TBI.
PARTICIPANTS:: A total of 47 patients with TBI and their noninjured partners.
MEASURES:: Twenty-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale; Index of Marital Satisfaction;
and Dyadic Adjustment Scale. RESULTS:: Significant differences emerged between
patients with TBI and their noninjured partners on measures of relationship
quality and satisfaction, with patients reporting significantly fewer
relationship problems and greater levels of overall relationship satisfaction. In
contrast, the noninjured partners of patients with TBI and acquired alexithymia
reported significantly lower ratings of overall relationship quality, adjustment,
consensus, and cohesion. CONCLUSION:: The presence of alexithymia in persons with
TBI is an important factor affecting relationship quality and satisfaction.
Future research should continue to explore the impact of emotional deficit
disorders following TBI on the quality of relationships following injury and, in
turn, the risk of relationship breakdown.

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