Author(s): Wood RL, Liossi C, Wood L
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Existing evidence suggests that neurobehavioural disability is a frequent legacy of serious head trauma and has a major impact on the psychological well-being of relatives and friends of people with brain injuries. OBJECTIVE: To explore which neurobehavioural legacies of serious head trauma have the greatest impact on personal relationships and increase the risk of relationship breakdown. METHOD: Forty-eight partners of people who had suffered serious head trauma were asked to complete a 12-item measure to rate how different neurobehavioural characteristics had adversely affected their relationship with the brain injured person. Twenty-three couples who had divorced or separated from their injured partner in the years following injury comprised the 'separated' group, 25 still in the relationship at the time data were collected comprised the 'together' group. RESULTS: Even though many neurobehavioural characteristics of brain injury were reported by partners of both the separated and the together group as placing a strain on the relationship only mood swings accounted for a significant between groups difference [t(40.13) = 3.33, p = 0.002]. The magnitude of the difference in the means was large (712 = 0.19). CONCLUSIONS: Unpredictable patterns of behaviour, as perceived by partners of brain injured individuals, impose the greatest burden on personal relationships and may contribute to relationship breakdown.
This article was published in Brain Inj
and referenced in International Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation