Date of Paper

5-2012

Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

msw

Department

socialwork

First Advisor

Jessica Toft

Abstract

The purpose of this research study was to explore how traumatic brain injuries affected families in which there was a survivor. It was the researcher’s desire to learn what stress and loss looked like in families with a traumatic brain injury survivor. Data was gathered in a qualitative study in which nine individual family members of survivors of traumatic brain injury were interviewed. The family members were asked 13 questions in a semi-structured interview style.The qualitative data was analyzed using content analysis. Emerging findings indicated that stress and loss is very different for each family. Another emerging finding was financial assistance, discharge assistance, and mental health services were difficult to obtain in rural areas. Future research should consider the effects of the gender of the survivor on how the family system adapts, as well as whether the relationship of the caregiver to the survivor affects the family system. This study also highlights a potential need for a professional association concerning traumatic brain injury in order for better training and collaboration of social workers who work with survivors of traumatic brain injury and their families.

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