VIEWS: 7 PAGES: 4 POSTED ON: 9/3/2012
Head Injury Foundation resources docu horizon-nah vzw 1/4 Family Coping Strategies in Traumatic Brain Injury By H. Gerry Taylor, PhD. and Terry Stancin, PhD. It is well-established that moderate to severe pediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI) can result in longer-term problems with thinking, memory, behavior and emotional functioning, even long after medical issues have been resolved and the child has been discharged from medical care. The risk for developing such problems is greater if the child sustains other significant injuries in addition to the brain injury, such as severe fracture. The risk of these problems also increases if the child has a history of pre- injury problems with learning or behavior. Poor performance on neuropsychological testing is not always the best predictor of behavior challenges. Economic and social disadvantages may also raise the risk for poor outcomes after injury. Children whose families have fewer social supports and financial resources, and therefore less accessibility to specialized treatment programs seem to exhibit more problems after TBI. Likewise, the impact of TBI on the family, and the way the family mobilizes its resources to support the child’s progress are as important factors in recovery as the severity of injury itself. An important research finding has been the discovery of a bi-directional relationship between children with TBI and their families in the recovery process. The quality of life of the child affects the family’s quality of life and the reverse is true as well. That TBI impacts the entire family is reflected in research findings showing 67% of families with children with severe brain injury had at least one family member who sought mental health treatment after the injury. One important way this bi-directional relationship can be expressed is in comparison of parent and child ratings of health-related quality of life after TBI. Parents tend to notice more problems with peer relations and other areas, resulting in lower quality-of-life ratings compared to the child’s own ratings. Therefore, parents are the first line of defense in recognizing problems as they arise, and initiating treatment. Research has pinpointed some strategies family members have used successfully in dealing with TBI as a family: Educated understanding requires learning about the challenges children typically face after TBI. For example, new behavior problems are common, and sometimes the usual methods of learning and discipline are less effective. Parents who are knowledgeable about these problems can develop tools for interacting most successfully with the child (these tools can be used by teachers and peers as well) to help minimize disruptive behavioral patterns. Head Injury Foundation resources docu horizon-nah vzw 2/4 Active coping is described as active attempts by parents to find solutions or alternatives to challenging problems. While persistence is important, it is equally important to recognize what things can be changed (and those that cannot), and know when to redirect one’s energy towards a potentially more helpful goal. This can help prevent the frustration of endless attempts to locate a program that does not exist, or trying to change an unwanted behavior when changing one’s response to the behavior might be more effective. The latter might be thought of as coming to terms with the child’s injury and how best to deal with its effects on the child and family. This can greatly lower a caregiver’s perceived burden and reduce stress for both parent and child. The key to active coping and acceptance of reality is to focus on changing what can be changed and accommodating to what cannot be changed. Family intervention requires making a commitment to the overall health of the family, not just the injured child, because a healthy family is the best resource in maximizing the child’s achievement and adjustment. Parents, siblings, and extended family all experience feelings of loss and distress when a loved one is injured. The social, psychological and economic stressors families can experience after TBI certainly impact the child’s long-term recovery, so intervention for the family as a whole is highly recommended. Facilitating recovery refers to consideration of the child’s individual needs and strengths in determining educational and social interventions. For example, a child who was actively involved in sports can participate in recreational programs modified for children with exceptional needs, or perhaps a more highly functioning child might be directed towards a different role in the existing sport (i.e., helping ‘manage’ the team). Another alternative would be directing the child towards art or music programs, depending upon his or her strengths and interests. The goal of facilitating recovery is to minimize the disruptive impact of TBI on later development, and maximize socialization, school performance and the child’s strengths. Dr. Taylor is Professor of Pediatrics and Psychology at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio. He is also Director of Pediatric Neuropsychology Service, Division of Behavioral Pediatrics and Psychology, Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital, University Hospitals of Cleveland. He has published extensively in the area of outcomes after pediatric TBI and low birth weight. Dr. Taylor is Board Certified in Clinical Neuropsychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology. He has been on the editorial boards of a number of child psychology and neuropsychology journals and is on the Maternal and Child Health Review Committee, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Dr. Stancin is Head of the Division of Child Psychology in the Department of Pediatrics at MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio. She is also an Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Psychiatry and Psychology at Case Western Reserve University. In 2001, Dr. Stancin received the Chairman's Award for Research Excellence in the Department of Pediatrics at Head Injury Foundation resources docu horizon-nah vzw 3/4 MetroHealth Medical Center. She serves as an editor and editorial board member for numerous journals. She has published extensively in the area of pediatric brain injury. References: Wade, S., Drotar, D., Taylor, H.G., & Stancin, T. (1995). Assessing the effects of traumatic brain injury on family functioning: Conceptual and methodological issues. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 20, 737-752. Wade, S., Taylor, H.G., Drotar,D., & Stancin, T., & Yeates, K.O. (1996). The pediatric effects of traumatic brain injury (TBI) on families. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 29, 652-661. Yeates, K.O., Taylor, H.G., Drotar, D., Wade, S.L., Klein, S., Stancin, T., & Schatschneider, C. (1997). Pre-injury family environment as a determinant of recovery from traumatic brain injuries in school-age children. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 3, 617-630. Wade, S., Taylor, H.G., Drotar, D., Stancin, T., & Yeates, K.O. (1998). Family burden and adaptation during the initial year following traumatic brain injury (TBI). Pediatrics, 102, 110-116. Taylor, H.G., Yeates, K.O., Wade, S.L., Drotar, D., Stancin, T., & Klein, S.K. (1999). Influences on first-year recovery from traumatic brain injury in children. Neuropsychology, 13, 76-89. Taylor, H.G., Yeates, K.O., Wade, S.L., Drotar, D., Stancin, T., & Burant, C. (2001). Bidirectional child-family influences on outcomes of traumatic brain injury in children. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 7, 755-767. Wade, S.L., Borawski, E.A., Taylor, H.G., Drotar, D., Yeates, K.O., & Stancin, T. (2001). The relationship of caregiver coping to family outcomes during the initial year following pediatric traumatic brain injury. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 69, 406-415. Taylor, H.G., Yeates, K.O., Wade, S.L., Drotar, D., Stancin, T., & Minich, N. (2002). A prospective study of short- and long-term outcomes after traumatic brain injury in children: Behavior and achievement. Neuropsychology, 16, 15-27. Stancin, T., Drotar, D., Taylor, H.G., Yeates, K.O., Wade, S.L., & Minich, N.M. (2002). Health related quality of life of children and adolescents following traumatic brain injury. Pediatrics, 109 (electronic article), e34. Wade, S.L., Taylor, H.G., Drotar, D., Stancin, T., Yeates, K.O., & Minich, N.M. (2002). A prospective study of the long-term caregiver and family adaptation following brain injury in children. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, 17, 96-111. Head Injury Foundation resources docu horizon-nah vzw 4/4 Schwartz, L.S., Taylor, H.G., Drotar, D., Yeates, K.O., Wade, S.L., & Stancin, T. (in press). Long-term behavior problems following pediatric traumatic brain injury: Prevalance, predictors, and correlates. Journal of Pediatric Psychology. Taylor, H.G., Yeates, K.O., Wade, S.L., Drotar, D., Stancin, T., & Montpetite, M. (in press). Long-term educational interventions after traumatic brain injury in children. Rehabilitation Psychology. Yeates, K.O. (1999). Closed-head injury. In K.O. Yeates, M.D. Ris, & H.G. Taylor (Eds.), Pediatric neuropsychology: Research, theory, and practice (pp.92-116). New York: Guilford.
Pages to are hidden for
"Family Coping Strategies in Traumatic Brain Injury"Please download to view full document