Quality of life in patients with mild acute brain injury and their carers’ needs in Greece

Evgenia Stasinopoulou, Margarita Giannakopoulou, Georgios Fildisis, Maria Kalafati, Chryssoula Lemonidou


Background: Investigating quality of life (QoL) is of crucial importance for the scientific community as it could function not only as an indicator of prognosis and post-traumatic clinical and psychological changes in patients who have suffered from acute brain injury (ABI), but also as an indicator of the effectiveness of their treatment and social rehabilitation. In addition, it can highlight changes in the carer’s health, social life and well-being. This study examined the QoL of patients following ABI and the needs of their carers.
Material and methodology: This study was conducted in patients suffering from ABI, who were admitted to the General Hospital of Attica “KAT” and to the National Rehabilitation Center and on their carers. Data collection including demographics and Quality of Life After Brain Injury Questionnaire (QOLIBRI) and the Family Needs Questionnaire (FNQ) was performed during patients’ rehabilitation, while six months after release, a follow-up survey was conducted using the same questionnaires. Statistical analysis of data was performed using SPSS.
Results: We analysed 50 patients with mild ABI (GCS ≥ of 13/15) during rehabilitation and six months after release and found that their QoL improves and is positively related to improvement of health status (i.e. in terms of thinking ability, QoL improves from r = 2.33, p < .01 to r = 3.37, p < .001). We also found that “Age” has the greatest impact on the patient’s progress for recovery and the general QoL after ABI (r = -0.423, p < .01). In addition, it was found that carers of patients with ABI are confronted with the burden of care, while they record both fulfilled and unmet needs regarding their individual needs (i.e. only for 30% of the sample the need for help in preparing them for the worst is met).
Conclusions: Our study confirms previous findings that underline that ABI has a major impact on QoL of both patients and their carers providing them with long-term daily care. Although it has been found that over time there is an improvement in the QoL of patients with ABI, the absence of an official support network for carers from public health system, hospitals and rehabilitation centers may adversely affect the QoL of patients and their carers. Therefore, more structured, long-term family-wide monitoring and support is needed, focusing on identifying those at risk of social isolation and incomplete social networking.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/cns.v9n1p39


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Clinical Nursing Studies
ISSN 2324-7940(Print)   ISSN 2324-7959(Online)

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