1 Klinik for Højt Specialiseret Neurorehabilitering/Traumatisk Hjerneskade, Neurocentret, Rigshospitalet, The Capital Region of Denmark2 Afdeling for Neurorehabilitering HVH, Neurocentret, Rigshospitalet, The Capital Region of Denmark3 Neurologisk Klinik, Neurocentret, Rigshospitalet, The Capital Region of Denmark
Abstract Objective: This preliminary study aimed at investigating (1) changes in the status of family members between time of injury and follow-up in the chronic phase and (2) the most important needs within the family in the chronic phase and whether the needs were perceived as met. Participants: The sample comprised 42 relatives (76% female, mean age = 53 years) of patients with severe brain injury, who had received intensive sub-acute rehabilitation. The relatives were contacted in the chronic phase after brain injury. Outcome measure: A set of questions about demographics and time spent caregiving for the patient was completed. The relatives completed the revised version of the Family Needs Questionnaire, a questionnaire consisting of 37 items related to different needs following brain injury. Results: Significant changes in status were found in employment (z = -3.464, p = 0.001) and co-habitation (z = -3.317, p = 0.001). The sub-scale 'Health Information' (Mean = 3.50, SD = 0.73) had the highest mean importance rating, whereas the sub-scale 'Emotional support' (Mean = 3.07, SD = 0.79) had the lowest. When combining importance and met ratings, it was found that the five most important needs were only met in 41-50% of the total sample. Conclusion: Occupational and co-habitation status of the relatives was significantly affected by brain injury. A high number of relatives reported family needs not satisfied in the chronic phase. This requires an interventional approach for families to get these needs fulfilled individually, even after rehabilitation.