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The Process of Adjustment Among Caregivers of Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury: A Qualitative Study

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Marquette University Milwaukee United States

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This mixed-methods study aims to explore the experiences of veteran and civilian caregiversof individuals with SCI by collecting qualitative and quantitative data from 48 caregiver-care recipient dyads across four rehabilitation hospitals who together serve a diverse patient population. During our third year of funding, we have made significant progress on attaining project goals, including enrolling 32 additional participants in the study. This brought our overall total to 105 participants of these, 92 are active participants. We closed recruitment on March 31, 2017. Also in the past year, we secured all relevant continuing institutional approvals, expanded the review of the relevant literature and existing programs and services for caregivers, and conducted follow-up interviews with 44.8 of participants. We presented early findings at two conferences this year. In our preliminary analysis of 41 dyads, we found that, on average, caregivers reported low burden. They also were moderately satisfied with their leisure time, fell within normal range for depression and anxiety, and were within normal range for physical health complaints and social problem solving skills. We found a bivariate relationship between burden and these six variables all were found to be significantly related to burden in expected directions. Multiple regression analysis showed that leisure time satisfaction and social problem solving skills together significantly predicted and accounted for 57 of the variance in caregiver burden. In analysis of the qualitative data, we saw themes emerge around successful coping strategies, effective problem solving skills, self-efficacy, and self-care. We considered these to be strengths and signs of resilience. We are continuing our mixed methods analyses to identify patterns of strengths across the caregivers. It appears that problem solving skills and social support are two variables that are driving distinct patterns.

Descriptive Note:

Technical Report,29 Sep 2016,28 Sep 2017



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Approved For Public Release;

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