Spirituality and outcomes in caregivers of persons with traumatic brain injury (TBI)

Rehabil Psychol. 2020 Nov;65(4):347-359. doi: 10.1037/rep0000304. Epub 2020 Jan 9.


Purpose/objective: Spiritual well-being has been associated with better quality of life outcomes in caregivers, but the associations among the care recipient's functional status, the caregiver's spiritual well-being, and the caregiver's health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is unknown. Research Method/Design: The study examined the Spiritual Well-Being Scale in caregivers of persons with traumatic brain injury (TBI; n = 335). Participants completed measures from the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System, the Quality of Life in Caregivers of TBI, and the Caregiver Appraisal Scale. The Mayo-Portland Adaptability Inventory-4 (MPAI-4) measured care recipient's functional status. The association between religious well-being and existential well-being and HRQOL were examined with Pearson correlation coefficients. Multiple linear regressions examined the interaction between caregiver well-being and care recipient functional status on HRQOL outcomes accounting for demographic variables.

Results: Less favorable caregiver HRQOL was associated with military affiliation, male status, spousal caregiver relationship, and White race. MPAI-4 was moderately associated with all HRQOL subdomains. For spiritual well-being, existential well-being was moderately correlated with 9 of 16 HRQOL subdomains in comparison to religious well-being that demonstrated small correlations with 3 of 16 subdomains. MPAI-4 had negative effects on HRQOL regardless of spiritual well-being with higher existential well-being reducing the negative impact of the care recipient's functional impairment on HRQOL for significant HRQOL interactions.

Conclusions/implications: Interventions that encourage development and maintenance of life purpose and meaning in caregivers of persons with TBI, and less so, spirituality, might have beneficial effects on HRQOL when the person with injury has more functional limitations. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Injuries, Traumatic / nursing*
  • Caregiver Burden / epidemiology*
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Spirituality*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Veterans