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Brain Inj. 2003 Jun;17(6):453-68.

Long-term adjustment of families following traumatic brain injury where comprehensive rehabilitation has been provided.

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Monash-Epworth Rehabilitation Research Centre, Epworth Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.



The present study aimed to examine long-term family and emotional adjustment in close relatives of individuals with TBI, who had access to comprehensive rehabilitation services. It also examined the relative influence thereon of factors including injury severity, handicap and cognitive and behavioural changes in the injured person, relationship with the injured person and caregiver status.


Participants were 143 TBI individuals and their close relatives. They completed the Family Assessment Device (FAD), Leeds Scales of Anxiety and Depression, Structured Outcome Questionnaire, CHART, SIP Psychosocial Dimension and Novaco Anger Control Questionnaire 2-5 years post-injury.


Results showed that families were, on average, functioning in the normal range on the FAD. Anxiety and depression were more likely to be present in those responsible for care of their injured relative. There were no differences between spouses and parents. Presence of cognitive, behavioural and emotional changes was the strongest predictor of anxiety and depression in relatives and of unhealthy family functioning.


Every attempt should be made to develop models of long-term support and care that alleviate these sources of burden on relatives.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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