Skip to main content

Military Health System

DHA’s TBI-focused Caregiver & Family Member Study continues at TBICoE

Image of A husband, wife, and two children sitting at the Warrior and Family Support Center. Genette Burges spends time with her husband Dan and children at the Warrior and Family Support Center at Joint Base San Antonio (Photo by: Lori Newman, Brooke Army Medical Center).

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | DOD TBI Worldwide Numbers | Patient and Family Resources | TBICoE Research | TBICoE Podcasts | A Head for the Future

For the family members of some service members or veterans with traumatic brain injuries (TBI), caregiving is a 24/7 job. Those who live this daily life of caring for others are celebrated today with National Caregivers Day.

This may include assistance with daily activities, social interaction, and financial management. Without proper resources, these essential responsibilities can take a physical and psychological toll on the caregiver and the rest of their family.

In 2010, the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center, now known as the Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence, launched the Caregiver and Family Member Study. This 15-Year Longitudinal TBI Study, led by TBICoE researchers at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence in Bethesda, Maryland is a congressionally mandated study that examines the effects of TBI incurred by service members. The specific focus of the study is on those who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom, and how those effects impact family members.

The Caregiver and Family Member Study aims to better understand the impact of the service member’s or veteran’s TBI on their family.

Now in its eleventh year, the Caregiver and Family Member Study has found that the time commitment and burden of caregiving is correlated with physical and psychological distress, poor sleep and disrupted family life. Frequently, caregivers balance their commitments toward their service member or veteran with childcare and other work duties, often receiving no help and having little time for themselves.

Caregivers also have unmet health care and care provision needs. These unmet needs can evolve to worse caregiver health and well-being.

However, the study also highlights that not all caregivers report negative outcomes. In fact, some report high levels of satisfaction and resilience and healthy family relationships.

Respite care, support groups, financial support, access to health care and training programs are critical for caregivers to manage the burdens of caregiving and to promote the recovery of the service member or veteran. Eligible caregivers can receive these services through the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs Caregiver Programs.

Since launching the study, TBICoE has spearheaded several efforts to educate and support TBI caregivers, such as the development of the TBI Caregiver Quality of Life (TBI-CareQOL) Measurement System. TBICoE researchers at the NICoE plan to use measures from the TBI-CareQOL and larger Caregiver and Family Member Study as a screening tool to identify family members of NICoE patients at risk of poor health-related quality of life and in need of behavioral health care.

In addition, TBICoE’s “A Head for the Future” initiative has recorded testimonies emphasizing the need for robust TBI caregiver education and resources.

Brian O’Rourke, a retired Navy chief petty officer who sustained multiple TBIs, said, “My number one caretaker for the rest of my life is my wife, so for her to understand that I have TBI and how to help me deal with it is huge.”

TBICoE and NICoE staff anticipate that one of the overall impacts of the study is that caregivers are supported in their roles long term and their own health and welfare needs are attended to.

The TBICoE Caregiver and Family Member Study is ongoing and currently recruiting caregivers of service members and veterans with TBI and PTSD (TBI and PTSD caregivers), and parents and spouses who are not caregiving (non-caregiver military family members). Those interested in participating should contact the study leads at dha.caregiver.study@mail.mil or by phone at 855-821-1469.

To find additional resources for TBI caregivers and family members, visit the TBICoE website.

You also may be interested in...

Progressive Return to Activity After Concussion Video

Video
2/25/2021
Progressive Return to Activity After Concussion Video

The PRA is an evidence-based, easy-to-use approach to help providers return service members with mild TBIs back to duty safely. TBICoE researchers have found that, if medical providers completed a two-hour, in-person training on the use of the PRA, their patients saw an overall reduction in symptoms after one week, one month, and three months, when compared to patients treated by providers who had not received the training.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | TBI Provider Resources | TBI Educators | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence

Sleep and TBI

Video
2/8/2021
Sleep and TBI

Sleep disturbances are common for service members and veterans following a mild TBI, also known as concussion.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | TBI Educators | Patient and Family Resources | TBI Provider Resources | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Brain Injury Awareness To Improve Readiness | Brain Injury Awareness To Improve Readiness | Total Force Fitness

MACE 2 Provider Training Video

Video
9/29/2020
MACE 2 Provider Training Video

This video illustrates how to conduct a Military Acute Concussion Evaluation 2 (MACE 2) training event. This video supports the MACE 2 and its training materials created by the Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence (TBICoE).

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | TBI Provider Resources | TBI Educators | Provider Education

TBI Awareness: Memorial Box

Video
3/27/2015
TBI Awareness: Memorial Box

US Army Sgt Fox explains how his memorial box has helped him heal and remember meaningful events and people in his life.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence |

Dr. Heechin Chae on The Mystery of the Brain

Video
3/23/2015
Dr. Heechin Chae on The Mystery of the Brain

Traumatic brain injury expert, Dr. Heechin Chae speaks on the mystery of the brain.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence |

The Benefits of Art Therapy

Video
3/19/2015
The Benefits of Art Therapy

Art therapist Jackie Biggs describes why art therapy is an effective method of treatment for TBI and PTSD.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence

Army Sgt. R. Fox

Video
3/19/2015
Army Sgt. R. Fox

Army Sgt. Robert Fox describes his challenges with PTSD and how art therapy has helped him.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence

The Mask

Video
3/19/2015
The Mask

Marine Sgt. Jorden Smith describes his therapy mask

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence

Art Therapist, Jackie Biggs

Video
3/18/2015
Art Therapist, Jackie Biggs

Art therapist, Jackie Biggs discusses how art therapy helps TBI patients.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence

Marine Sgt. Jorden Smith Pt. 2

Video
3/18/2015
Marine Sgt. Jorden Smith Pt. 2

USMC Sgt. Jorden Smith discusses art therapy for treating traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence

Marine Sgt. Jorden Smith Pt. 1

Video
3/17/2015
Marine Sgt. Jorden Smith Pt. 1

USMC Sgt. Jorden Smith discusses art therapy for treating traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence
<< < 1 2 > >> 
Showing results 16 - 26 Page 2 of 2
Refine your search
Last Updated: December 03, 2021
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery