Irrational Schematic Beliefs and Psychological Distress in Caregivers of People With Traumatic Brain Injury

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ABSTRACT.Objective:To investigate the relation between irrational schematic beliefs and psychological distress in caregivers of persons with traumatic brain injury (TBI).Design:Cross-sectional mail survey.Participants:One hundred sixteen caregivers of persons with TBI living in the Australian states of Victoria and Queensland who were members of community support groups and brain injury associations.Measures:The Irrational Beliefs Inventory, Brief Symptom Inventory, income satisfaction, degree of personality and behavior change in the TBI individual, and injury severity.Results:Hierarchical regression analyses showed that after controlling for the effects of characteristics of the caregiving situation and the individual with TBI, greater adherence to irrational beliefs was related to higher levels of global psychological distress. Specifically, irrational beliefs related to Worrying were associated with all areas of psychological distress.Conclusion:Results support the cognitive theory proposal that irrational beliefs play an important role in the adaptation to TBI caregiving. Findings suggest the inclusion of cognitive therapy strategies in interventions for caregivers.

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