Objective: To test a model comprising explanatory (neurologic impairment, coping, personality) and mediating (resilience, self-efficacy, hope, social support) variables on psychological adjustment and burden among family caregivers of individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI) vs spinal cord injury (SCI).

Design: Structural equation modeling with multigroup analysis.

Setting: Six rehabilitation centers across New South Wales and Queensland, Australia.

Participants: A total of 181 family members (N=181; 131 TBI, 50 SCI). Interventions: Not applicable.

Main Outcome Measures: Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale, Eysenck Personality Questionnaire, Ways of Coping Questionnaire, General SelfEfficacy Scale, Herth Hope Scale, Medical Outcome Study Social Support Survey; and 4 measures of psychological adjustment including: Caregiver Burden Scale, Medical Outcomes Survey Short Form-36 (SF-36), General Health Questionnaire-28, and Positive and Negative Affect Scale.

Results: The model for the aggregated sample demonstrated a very good model fit (x2 =47.42, df=39, r=0.167, normed fit index=.962, incremental fit index=.993, Tucker-Lewis index=.985, comparative fit index=.993, root-mean-squared error of approximation=.035). Multi-group analysis found significant commonalities in the pattern of relationships among variables across the 2 groups. In the only differences found, neuroticism was significantly more influential on burden in family members supporting individuals with TBI than family members of individuals with SCI. Furthermore, problem-focused coping was statistically more influential on positive affect in family members of individuals with TBI when compared with family members of individuals with SCI.

Conclusions: The study found significant similarities in the patterns of resilience and psychological adjustment among family caregivers of individuals with TBI and SCI.

© 2021 The American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


brain injuries, traumatic, caregivers, emotional adjustment, rehabilitation, resilience, psychological, spinal cord injuries

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