The Process of Adjustment among Caregivers of Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury: A Qualitative Study
Technical Report,29 Sep 2014,28 Sep 2018
Marquette University Milwaukee United States
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Among caregivers of adults with spinal cord injury SCI, understanding factors that contribute to caregiver quality of life QOL is critical to providing appropriate support. This concurrent mixed methods study aimed to understand the experiences of veteran and civilian caregivers of individuals with SCI across a diverse sample from 4 rehabilitation hospitals, including 1 VA hospital. Of the 52 dyads recruited, 39 dyads provided complete data and were included in analysis. Of the 39 caregivers, 80 percent were female, average age was 49.9 years, average number of years providing care was 11.9, 49 percent were married topartners of the adult with SCI, and 56 percent were from ethnic minority groups. Adults with SCI were most commonly male 72 percent with tetraplegia 72 percent, and half identified as white 51 percent. Their average age at injury was 22.3 years, current age was 39.1 years, and average injury duration was 18 years. Over a quarter of the sample were veterans 28 percent. Specific to risk and protective factors, overall, caregivers reported physical and mental health in normal ranges and reported experiencing low burden. Interviews highlighted a number of unmet needs but also the importance of adaptive coping and social support. Interventions aimed at bolstering effective caregiver problem solving skills and enhancing social support as well as satisfaction with social support may foster caregiver well-being.
- Medicine and Medical Research