Needs of Family Members of TBI Survivors

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Brain injuries reflect how truly interdependent we are upon each other. As a brain injury case manager, I have the unique position of seeing a wide range of individuals involved in a single survivor’s life, and I also am witness to the toll that caretaking exacts on families. Most people simply aren’t prepared to deal with trauma, so when a catastrophic injury like TBI occurs, it can be devastating to more than just one person.

The article “Needs of family members of patients with severe traumatic brain injury: implications for evidence-based practice” is packed full of fascinating statistics and research-based conclusions. Take this excerpt, for example:

“Indeed, all admissions to an ICU are stressful for patients’ families, but the sudden unexpected onset of severe traumatic brain injury, coupled with its unstable nature and strong probability of death, makes the families of patients with such injuries especially vulnerable. As Landsman reported, the severity of the injury may place demands on patients’ families beyond the families’ ability to cope.” (italics mine)

One of the conclusions drawn from the study is that families have an extremely high need for information. Vague answers only add to their frustration and stress. So if you’re a family member, here’s the lesson: research, research, research. Learn about TBI as a physical problem. Learn about it as a social problem. Attend support groups and get involved.

Click here to read “Needs of family members…”

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