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Objective: Studies have shown that functional and psychosocial sequelae of traumatic brain injury (TBI) predict emotional well-being of caregivers (Harris, 2000). Previous research examining the mental health of caregivers and the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of people with TBI have primarily been in the US (Sander, 2012). Very little research has been conducted to uncover the unique relationships between HRQoL of people with TBI and caregiver mental health longitudinally, or in low-middle income Latin American countries. The aim of this study was to evaluate how HRQoL after TBI predict caregiver depression longitudinally in two countries and three data collection sites in Latin America.

Design: Multi-site, multinational longitudinal study.

Setting: Three hospitals in Neiva and Cali, Colombia, and Mexico City, Mexico (before hospital discharge), as well as in the homes of individuals with TBI and caregivers in these regions (before discharge, at 2 and 4 months after discharge).

Participants: A sample of 109 TBI caregiver-patient dyads (n = 218) was included in the study.

Main Outcome Measure(s): Caregiver depression (Patient Health Questionnaire-9) and HRQoL in the person with TBI (Short Form-36).

Results: Three multiple regressions were conducted to examine which aspects of patient HRQoL at baseline predicted caregiver depression at baseline, 2 months, and 4 months post-discharge. Eight aspects of patient HRQoL were simultaneously entered into each model as predictors: physical functioning, role limitations (physical and emotional), vitality, mental health, social functioning, pain, and general health. At baseline, the overall model significantly predicted caregiver depression, F(8, 105) = 2.62, p = .012, R 2 = .18. Patient mental health was the only significant unique predictor of caregiver depression at baseline, p = .021, β = -.34. The overall model predicting 2-month caregiver depression was significant, F(8, 101) = 3.21, p = .003, R 2 = .22. Only mental health, p = .016, β = -.36, was a significant unique predictor. The overall model predicting 4-month caregiver depression was significant, F(8, 98) = 2.70, p = .010, R 2 = .19, and no factors uniquely predicted caregiver depression, all ps>.05.

Conclusions: Results suggest that TBI patient HRQoL can predict caregiver depression among Latin American caregivers before and during the first 4 months after hospital discharge. Across all three time points (baseline, 2 months, and 4 months), caregiver depression was significantly predicted by patient HRQoL. At baseline, patient mental health was the only domain that uniquely predicted caregiver depression. At 2 months, only physical role limitations uniquely predicted caregiver depression, and no unique predictors were detected at 4 months. These findings suggest that within the cultural framework in Latin America, there is a strong relationship between functional and psychological impairments after TBI and depression outcomes in Latin American caregivers. The results highlight the importance of uncovering these relational distinctions and may infer early detection of mental health needs and psychological intervention considerations for Latin American caregivers.

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Latin America, TBI, caregiver, depression



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VCU Graduate Research Posters

Is Helping Really Helping? Health-Related Quality of Life after TBI Predicting Caregiver Depression Longitudinally in Latin America

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Psychology Commons