Family Burden Following Traumatic Brain Injury

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This study investigated burden experienced by 60 spouses and 71 parents who served as primary caregivers to individuals with traumatic brain injury. Burden levels, as assessed by the Questionnaire on Resources and Stress (QRS-SF), were compared for spouses and parents. Overall, both parents and spouses of individuals with traumatic brain injury exhibited high levels of burden. Relative to spouses, parents reported significantly greater burden related to lifespan care. Spouses reported significantly less personal reward than did parents. The presence of social aggression and cognitive disability in the individual with brain injury was found to have a greater association with subjective burden of caregivers than was the presence of physical disability or injury severity. Comparisons were made between QRS-SF scores for relatives of individuals with brain injury and QRS-SF scores reported in previous investigations focused on caregivers to individuals with other disabling conditions. It was found that the responsibility assumed by spouses and parents of individuals with brain injury was as great as that experienced by families of people with severe chronic physical disabilities.

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