Rodgers ML, Strode AD, Norell DM, Short RA, Dyck DG, Becker B: Adapting multiple-family group treatment for brain and spinal cord injury intervention development and preliminary outcomes. Am J Phys Med Rehabil 2007;86:482–492.
There is a need for interventions that assist in managing the multiple adjustments of persons with spinal cord and brain injuries and their families. The purpose of the present field-initiated development project was to adapt a family psychoeducation model, multiple-family group treatment (MFGT), for persons with brain and spinal cord injury and their families.
The experiences of survivors and caregivers in MFGT were evaluated using quantitative and qualitative methods. Twenty-seven survivors and 28 caregivers participated in MFGT for 12–18 mos. Reliable and valid quantitative measures were used to assess a variety of target outcomes. Additionally, semistructured interviews and focus groups were conducted with participants.
Survivors reported a decrease in depressive symptoms and anger expression toward others as well as an increase in life satisfaction. Caregivers reported a significant reduction in burden. The themes derived from the qualitative analysis addressed the normalization of the caregiving experience, importance of socialization, improvement in a variety of coping skills, and education about the injuries.
The findings support the adaptation of MFGT for brain and spinal cord injuries.