Original article| Volume 93, ISSUE 5, P842-848, May 2012

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Relationship of Caregiver and Family Functioning to Participation Outcomes After Postacute Rehabilitation for Traumatic Brain Injury: A Multicenter Investigation

Published:March 14, 2012DOI:


      Sander AM, Maestas KL, Sherer M, Malec JF, Nakase-Richardson R. Relationship of caregiver and family functioning to participation outcomes after postacute rehabilitation for traumatic brain injury: a multicenter investigation.


      To investigate the contribution of caregiver emotional functioning and family functioning to participation outcomes after postacute rehabilitation for traumatic brain injury (TBI).


      Prospective cohort study.


      Three postacute comprehensive-integrated postacute rehabilitation programs associated with National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research–funded TBI Model Systems Centers.


      Persons with medically documented TBI (N=136; 57% with severe TBI, 12% moderate, 31% mild), primarily men and 69% white.


      Not applicable.

      Main Outcome Measures

      Community Integration Questionnaire and Craig Handicap Assessment and Reporting Technique (CHART).


      After accounting for age, education, sex, and race/ethnicity, there was a significant interaction between caregiver emotional functioning and time since injury for CHART Occupation and Social Integration Scale scores. Better emotional functioning in caregivers was associated with greater occupation and social integration outcomes for persons who entered the postacute rehabilitation program within 6 months of injury, but not for those >6 months postinjury. There was no relationship of family functioning to participation outcomes, and no interaction between family functioning and time since injury.


      Caregiver distress should be accounted for in studies investigating the effectiveness of postacute rehabilitation after TBI. Screening of caregivers early during postacute rehabilitation can target those who need assistance to improve their support of the person with TBI.

      Key Words

      List of Abbreviations:

      BSI (Brief Symptom Inventory), BSI-GSI (Brief Symptom Inventory–Global Severity Index), CHART (Craig Handicap Assessment and Reporting Technique), CHocc (CHART–Occupation Scale), CHsi (CHART–Social Integration Scale), CIQ (Community Integration Questionnaire), CIQhi (CIQ–Home Integration Scale), CIQprod (CIQ–Productivity Scale), CIQsi (CIQ–Social Integration Scale), FAD (Family Assessment Device), FAD-GFS (Family Assessment Device–General Functioning Scale), GFS (General Functioning Scale), TBI (traumatic brain injury)
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