Category: Brain Injury; Clinical Practice (assessment, diagnosis, treatment, knowledge translation/EBP, implementation science, program development)
To determine topic and format preferences for a behavioral health support group targeting caregivers of community-dwelling traumatic brain injury (TBI) survivors.
Design : Cross-sectional, needs assessment survey, observational design.
Setting : Community-based.
Participants (or Animals, Specimens, Cadavers) : Non-paid, adult caregivers (N=30; 96.7% female, 70% white, M age=55.7 years [SD = 12.85]) of survivors of moderate/severe TBI.
Interventions : Not applicable.
Main Outcome Measure(s) : Needs assessment survey to describe caregiver preferences for the design of a behavioral health program (e.g., educational topics, social/recreational events, format, and frequency of meetings).
Results : Participants were caregivers for an average of 11 years (SD = 10.5). The highest percentage (>90%) of potential education topics caregivers endorsed included: information on grief (100%), caregiver resources (100%), survivor social engagement (100%), family communication (96%), caregiver depression (93%), financial issues related to caregiving (93%), adapting to change (93%), and family coping strategies (93%). Sixty-eight percent of caregivers endorsed interest in attending supplemental social/recreational events. The majority of caregivers (89%) preferred the group to be in-person. Sixty-one percent of caregivers preferred monthly meetings and 43% expressed that the frequency of meeting attendance would depend upon on the topic, with preference for weekday evenings (46%). Additionally, 80% of respondents preferred the caregiver program be held at the same time as TBI survivor support group meetings.
Conclusions : These findings indicate the need for ongoing caregiver support, particularly in long-term recovery. It is essential to provide relevant educational topics that address the unique challenges of caregivers assisting TBI survivors. Such efforts could serve as part of a more integrated care approach for families adjusting to a chronic health condition, specifically TBI.
Christina DiBlasio– Graduate Student, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama
Molly Cox– Clinical Researcher/Interventionist, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama
Alexandra McBrayer– Program Manager, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama
Kayla Steward– Graduate Student, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama
Laura Dreer– Associate Professor, Universtity of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama
Rachael Mumbower– Assistant Professor, University of Alabama's Capstone College of Nursing, Helena, Alabama