Determinants of caregiver burden in male patients with epilepsy following penetrating traumatic brain injury

Roxana Jabbarinejad*, Shira Cohen-Zimerman, Amy K. Wagner, Jordan Grafman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: We determined burden of caring for patients with post-traumatic epilepsy (PTE) following penetrating traumatic brain injury (TBI) and identified factors predicting higher burden. Method: We assessed 331 caregiver-veteran dyads in Phase 2 (136 PTE, 136 non-PTE, and 59 HC dyads), 133 in Phase 4 (47 PTE, 56 non-PTE, and 30 HC dyads) – 30 years later, and 46 dyads in the follow-up study (18 PTE, 19 non-PTE, and 9 HC). Caregiver's burden was measured by Zarit Burden Index and a questionnaire. Veterans completed demographic, mental and physical well-being, quality-of-life, and medical-related information. Caregivers provided information about burden and their assessments of cognitive decline and neuropsychiatric status of the veterans. Results: PTE caregivers perceived significantly more burden than comparison groups at all phases. Bivariate analyses revealed that caregiver distress due to the veteran's neuropsychiatric state including cognitive decline, apathy, and disinhibition and the veteran's characteristics including older age at epilepsy onset and role limitation due to physical problems were associated with higher burden. Finally, we revealed disinhibition distress, and role imitation due to physical problems as the predictors in a model of caregiver burden. Conclusion: Elevated PTE caregiver burden is persistent across the life span suggesting that caregivers could benefit from counseling and targeted psychosocial interventions to reduce their burden.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number107768
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
Volume116
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2021

Keywords

  • Burden
  • Caregiver burden
  • Epilepsy
  • Post-traumatic epilepsy
  • Seizure
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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