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Disparities in TBI exist between developed and developing regions, and this neurological condition typically requires caregivers to provide aid and functional support for those with TBI (Hyder, Wunderlich, Puvanachandra, Gururaj, & Kobusingye, 2007). Latin America, among these global regions, has elevated risks of both sustaining TBI and poorer post-TBI functioning (Bonow et al., 2018). Previous literature has shown the poor cognitive, mental health, and social functional outcomes following the injury (Deloche, Dellatolas, & Christensen, 2000), but research has minimally explored both longitudinal trends of these outcomes, and if functional outcomes of the injury differentially predict caregiver burden. The aim of the current study was to examine if deficits in cognitive/executive functioning, depression, and social disadaptation among individuals with TBI in Latin America predict longitudinal trajectories of caregiver burden. A sample of 109 Latin American caregivers of individuals with a newly sustained TBI, from three hospitals were included in the study. In order to evaluate this series of relationships, Hierarchal Linear Modeling (HLM) assessed whether key features of TBI (e.g, depression, cognitive dysfunction, and social disadaptation), at baseline, predicted longitudinal outcomes of caregiver burden. Study findings showed that social disadaptation significantly predicted caregiver burden trajectory. Further, results showed that caregiver burden trajectories generally decreased over time, and men reported greater caregiver burden compared to women. These findings highlight unique trends among post-TBI caregivers in Latin America and suggest that future research should assess mechanisms that influence these trends.

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Counseling Psychology

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VCU Graduate Research Posters

Predicting Caregiver Burden Over the First 4 Months After TBI in Latin America:  A Multi-site, Multi-Country Study