Family Adjustment

With Mr. LM’s consent, his girlfriend and two parents see you in clinic to discuss how they are each coping with Mr. LM’s injury. His girlfriend is embarrassed to admit that she is developing symptoms of depression. Mr. LM’s father feels that his negative emotions and poor energy level further depress his mood. Why would you as a treating clinician be concerned about how his family adjusts to managing him at home?
What is the impact of family adjustment on the person with SCI?
1. Negative responses of family to pain behavior were associated with pain-related activity interference and depressive symptom severity in the individual with SCI.
What evidence is there for interventions focused on family adjustment for individuals with SCI?
1. Providing group therapy to spouses of individuals with SCI can decrease their symptoms of depression, anxiety and psychological distress with a potential impact on QOL.
2. Being a primary caregiver for someone with an SCI may interfere with QOL.
3. Education and access to follow-up may build knowledge of skills and resources in the caregiver.

For more information please see: Primary Care Attendant