Characteristics and concerns of caregivers of adults with traumatic brain injury

Janet M. Powell, Elizabeth K. Wise, J. A. Brockway, Robert Fraser, Nancy Temkin, Kathleen R. Bell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Objective: To describe the characteristics of caregivers of adults with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and their concerns in the first months after community discharge of the TBI survivor. Design: Secondary analysis of data collected during a parallel-group randomized controlled trial. Setting: Community. Participants: A total of 153 consecutively enrolled caregivers of adults with moderate to severe TBI discharged to the community following acute and/or rehabilitation care at a Level I trauma center with 71 caregivers in the treatment group identifying concerns as part of the intervention procedures. Main Measures: Caregiver demographics, caregiver-survivor relationship characteristics, caregiver activity changes, and concerns targeted by caregivers for education and problem-solving via biweekly phone calls. Results: Thirty-nine percent of caregivers were spouses and 35% parents. Sixty-five percent lived in the same house as the survivor preinjury with 86% in touch daily to several times per week. Concerns targeted by more than one-third of caregivers related to managing their emotional adjustment, strategies for getting things done, managing survivor emotions and behaviors, and engaging in healthful habits. Conclusions: Caregivers of TBI survivors targeted personal concerns relating to their own emotional adjustment and participation as well as concerns relating to symptoms and recovery of the TBI survivor to address through education and problem-solving.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E33-E41
JournalJournal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2017


  • Brain injuries
  • Caregivers
  • Problem solving
  • Telehealth
  • Telemedicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Neurology


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