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HSR Citation Abstract

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Interventions to Support Caregivers or Families of Patients with TBI, PTSD, or Polytrauma: A Systematic Review

Shepherd-Banigan ME, McDuffie JR, Shapiro A, Brancu M, Sperber N, Mehta NN, van Houtven CH, Williams JW. Interventions to Support Caregivers or Families of Patients with TBI, PTSD, or Polytrauma: A Systematic Review. VA ESP Project #09-009. 2018 Feb 1. 80 p.


Family members perform a significant service caring for Veterans with severe physical, mental, and cognitive impairments. A family caregiver may be defined as "any relative, partner, friend or neighbor who has a significant personal relationship with, and provides a broad range of assistance for, an older person or an adult with a chronic or disabling condition." Depending on the injuries and health conditions, for some families, the need for intensive family caregiving support can last for decades. Further, caregiving can have negative implications for the caregiver's physical and mental health, employment, and financial security. Other systematic reviews have shown that some caregiver supportive services can reduce caregiver burden and mental distress and improve care recipient function; however, this research has focused most frequently on recipients with cognitive or memory disorders and illnesses such as cancer. There is a need to better understand the impact of interventions that support caregivers or families of patients with disabling conditions common among Veterans. This evidence synthesis describes the volume of published literature evaluating the effects of family caregiving support programs for patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or polytrauma.

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