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Health Soc Work. 2015 Aug;40(3):233-8.

Psychosocial Needs of Relatives of Trauma Patients.


In trauma care, the patient is the primary focus of attention. However, patients' relatives also need attention, for two main reasons. First, the support of relatives is an important factor in the convalescence of patients. Second, the trauma means a serious disruption of not only the life of patients, but also that of their relatives. The purpose of this study was to explore the needs of relatives of trauma patients, to what extent these needs are met by the support of social workers, and how relatives benefit from this support. The study was conducted in hospitals in The Netherlands. Needs were measured using the Dutch version of the Critical Care Family Needs Inventory. Results of in-depth interviews were used to develop a questionnaire to explore the type of social worker support and to what extent relatives benefit from this support. Findings show that trauma patients' relatives have a need for information, access to the patient and hospital staff, and psychosocial assistance. In most cases social workers supported relatives and relatives benefited from the support. To ensure that trauma patients' relatives receive the support they need, social workers should be involved in trauma care as the standard of good care.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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