A South African Perspective on Caring for Family Members who Sustained a Traumatic Brain Injury
1Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Background: This study aimed to explore the experiences of caregivers who care for a family member who sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Emphasis was placed on the challenges and the resources that were associated with the caregiving role. Method: A qualitative design was implemented in this study, whereby thematic analysis was utilised to examine the semi-structured interviews that were conducted with twelve family caregivers of TBI survivors. Findings: Several challenges emerged; namely trauma, consequences of a TBI, responsibilities, lack of support, unawareness, financial burden, emotional challenges and coping. Several resources were also identified; namely road to recovery, social support, financial resource and coping. Discussion: These findings suggest that although caregivers who care for a family member who sustained a TBI face several challenges through the caregiving task, these individuals have a number of resources that help them to cope. The findings of this study could be utilised to facilitate the effective implementation of caregiver interventions and help to provide better directed strategies for dealing with the care of TBI survivors.