Anxiety and the perceived adequacy of information received by family members during the in-patient rehabilitation of patients with brain injury

Deborah Barrie, Denise Franzsen, Katherine Gradidige


Whilst patients with brain injury are undergoing rehabilitation, their families are expected to understand and remember complex information provided by the healthcare team. Previous studies have shown that high levels of anxiety impair a person’s information recall and their ability to interpret complex information. 

This study aimed to describe the level of anxiety of family members of patients with brain injury admitted to a six-week rehabilitation programme. The relationship between the family members’ level of anxiety and their perception of the adequacy of the information provided by the rehabilitation team, as well as the length of time since the patients’ injury and their Functional Independence Measurement (FIM) score was established.  Family members completed the anxiety subscale (HADS-A) of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and an Information Checklist on three separate occasions during the patients’ admission. 

Results indicate that family members were anxious throughout the duration of the patient’s rehabilitation with a decrease in average anxiety scores and a corresponding increase in the satisfaction with the information offered over this time. No significant correlation was found between the family members’ anxiety and other variables, indicating that factors influencing family members’ anxiety were not related to the length of time since injury and the severity of the patient’s motor and cognitive outcomes.

Keywords: Anxiety, Perception of adequacy of information received, Family members’, Patients with brain injury

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ISSN 0038-2337 (print), ISSN 2310-3833 (online)

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