Year, Volume, Issue, Page(s):17, 27, 1, 16-37
Study examined how family caregivers of individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI) describe their quality of life in the context of their caregiving role. Fifty-two caregivers of adults with moderate or severe TBI (31 parents and 21 partners/spouses) were recruited from three data collection sites to participate in focus groups. Thematic content analysis was used to identify two main meta-themes: (1) caregiver role demands and (2) changes in Person with TBI. Prominent subthemes indicated that caregivers are (1) overburdened with responsibilities, (2) lack personal time and time for self-care, (3) feel that their life is interrupted or lost, (4) grieve the loss of the person with TBI, and (5) endorse anger, guilt, anxiety, and sadness. Caregivers identified a number of service needs. A number of subthemes were perceived differently by partner versus parent caregivers. The day-to-day responsibilities of being a caregiver as well as the changes in the person with the TBI present a variety of challenges and sources of distress for caregivers. Although services that address instrumental as well as emotional needs of caregivers may benefit caregivers in general, the service needs of parent and partner caregivers may differ.