Strategies for Intervention with Families of Brain-Injured Patients
The advent of rapid advances in the acute neurosurgical management of head-injured adults during the past decade has given rise to an ever-increasing number of survivors of severe brain injury. Epidemiological studies have indicated that the vast proportion of this population are young adults, usually between the ages of 15 to 30 (Rimel, 1979). Despite a prolonged period of unconsciousness (usually a week or more) and resultant evidence of focal or diffuse brain damage, a majority of the survivors regain the ability to ambulate and perform most self-care activities independently (e.g., bathing, grooming, dressing, etc.). However, unlike other severely disabled adults (e.g., spinal cord injury), the brain-injured adult usually displays a variety of cognitive and behavioral deficits that adversely affect the patient’s ability to function effectively within the community and family system. Such deficits are often of indefinite duration and can result in prolonged dependence on family members. This state of dependence is often linked to the inability of the head-injured adult to achieve an adequate measure of social and vocational rehabilitation.
KeywordsTraumatic Brain Injury Brain Injury Spinal Cord Injury Family Therapy Family System
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