Main Article Content
Background: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) causes a patientâ€™s disability resulting in limitation in physical activity and depen- dence on caregivers. Appropriate social support to caregivers may enhance the effectiveness of caregiving and recovery of TBI patients. However, the association between caregiverâ€™s social support and TBI patientâ€™s disability during their early recovery phase after hospital discharge has never been assessed in Thailand.
Objective: The purpose of this correlational descriptive study was to identify relationships between the social support of care- givers and the disability of TBI patients at one month after discharge from hospital.
Methods: A sample of 85 pairs of TBI patients (76 men and 9 women) and their caregivers (11 men and 74 women) was gathered from four tertiary hospitals in Thailand. Roy adaptation model was used to guide the study. Norbeck social support questionnaire, specific social support questionnaire, and disability rating scale of Rappaport were applied to measure variables of interest. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and Pearson product moment correlation coefficient.
Results: Total score and one dimension (specific social support) of social support to caregivers score and two dimensions (dependence on others and psychosocial adaptability or employability) of disability of TBI patients had negative correlations (r = -0.29, p < 0.05, r = -0.26, p < 0.05, r = -0.23, p < 0.05, r = -0.29, p < 0.01, respectively).
Conclusion: The findings indicated that the social support to caregivers was related to the disability of TBI patients, or patientsâ€™ recovery, during the early period after hospital discharge. Therefore, intervention enhancing the social support of caregivers should be carried out immediately during the early period after discharge from hospital.
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