Brain damage--Patients--Rehabilitation; Personalized medicine; Caregivers--Training of--United States; Caregivers--United States; Medical personnel--caregiver relationships
The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the experiences of three caregivers, each of whom received hospital based inpatient caregiver training within the past five years and were caring for a family member with traumatic brain injury (TBI). Data gathered from interviews with caregivers revealed four major themes, one with subthemes. The themes were: 1) “Changes in Family Roles after TBI,” (2) “Need for More than Physical Training” with subthemes, “Psychosocial Support for Caregivers,” and “Social Isolation;” (3) “Expectations for Behaviors and Recovery,” and (4) “Identity Blurring.” These themes suggest that the individuals in this study likely could have gained from a greater emphasis on case-specific care that included more appropriate timing of information. Participants also expressed a desire for increased case-specific guidance for both caregivers and care receivers in dealing with psychosocial challenges and longer-term support and training after discharge from formal rehabilitation services. Occupational therapists support caregivers through collaborative efforts to find resources for continued education. They also provide psychosocial support for caregivers at home and in their communities. Additional education about resources and support groups could help caregivers manage new circumstances and challenges. In addition, the study points to a need for more hopeful, individualized training for TBI caregivers, training tailored to their unique needs and situations.
Anne B. James
Date of Completion
Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)
Date of Award
University of Puget Sound