A Randomized Controlled Pilot Study of a Manualized Intervention for Caregivers of Patients With Traumatic Brain Injury in Inpatient Rehabilitation

Academic Article


  • Objective: Investigate effectiveness of a 5-session manualized intervention for addressing needs of caregivers of persons in acute traumatic brain injury (TBI) rehabilitation. Design: Prospective, pilot randomized controlled trial. Setting: Inpatient brain injury rehabilitation unit, level 1 trauma center. Participants: Patients (N=93) with moderate-to-severe TBI and their family members were enrolled in the study with 42 randomized to the treatment group, 51 to the control group. Intervention: Five-session manualized caregiver intervention with educational, stress and anxiety self-management, coping, and emotional support components. Main Outcome Measures: Family Needs Questionnaire-Revised, knowledge assessment, Zarit Family Burden Scale, and Brief Symptom Inventory-18 were collected at pretreatment, posttreatment, and 3-month follow-up. Results: Treatment group caregivers showed an increase in met needs for emotional, instrumental, and professional support, and brain injury knowledge from baseline to posttreatment, whereas controls did not. Between-group differences were significant for only emotional support needs. Treatment effects were not sustained at 3-month follow-up. Conclusions: Caregivers of persons undergoing acute TBI rehabilitation may benefit from interventions that target their unique needs. Caregivers may require additional and longer-term supports to sustain treatment benefits.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Niemeier JP; Kreutzer JS; Marwitz JH; Sima AP
  • Start Page

  • S65
  • End Page

  • S75
  • Volume

  • 100
  • Issue

  • 4