Subjective and objective burden and psychological distress in care partners of older adults with traumatic brain injury.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Rehabil Psychol, Volume 68, Issue 3, p.301-312 (2023)


Adaptation, Psychological, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Brain Injuries, Brain Injuries, Traumatic, Caregivers, Emotions, Female, Humans, Male, Psychological Distress


<p><b>PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE: </b>In care partners of older persons (65 years and older) having sustained traumatic brain injury (TBI), the objectives were (a) to describe subjective burden (emotional, social, financial, and physical burden), objective burden (new roles and responsibilities), and psychological distress at 4 months postinjury, and (b) to explore the predictors of subjective burden and psychological distress.</p><p><b>RESEARCH METHOD/DESIGN: </b>This is an observational study of care partners of older adults with TBI ( = 46; = 65.2 years, = 11.2, 87% female). Participants completed the Zarit Burden Interview, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, the Brain Injury Complaint Questionnaire (measuring difficulties of the injured older adult perceived by the care partner), and the modified Medical Outcomes Study Social Support Survey.</p><p><b>RESULTS: </b>A majority of care partners (88%) reported at least one form of objective burden (e.g., increased/decreased time spent in certain activities post-TBI), 29% perceived at least mild subjective burden, and 27% reported either significant anxiety or depressive symptoms. Linear regressions indicated that a higher number of difficulties reported regarding the injured person and poorer perceived social support predicted higher subjective burden and psychological distress. A younger age of the care partner also predicted a higher subjective burden.</p><p><b>CONCLUSIONS/IMPLICATIONS: </b>This study provides a better understanding of the potential impacts of TBI in older age for care partners. Future research should examine how to support adequately care partners in their psychological adaptation after TBI in an elderly person. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved).</p>

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