This scoping review sought to describe the literature on the different types of interventions to support families of patients with acquired brain injuries (ABIs) and their outcomes.
Acquired brain injuries are among the leading causes of disability in adults worldwide and have physical, cognitive or/and behavioral consequences not only for the patient, but also for the family. Several support interventions have been proposed in different contexts at different phases of recovery with various levels of evidence, yet no synthesis is available to date.
We included studies that focused on family members of patients suffering from ABI. The concept under review included any type of intervention or action oriented to support families of patients with ABI, in any care setting. We included all published qualitative and quantitative designs, including those in the gray literature.
A three-step search strategy was performed. Searches were conducted in eight major databases, MEDLINE, PubMed, Embase, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Cochrane, JBI Database of Systematic Reviews and Implementation Reports, Web of Science in April 2017, and seven databases for unpublished studies in November 2017. This review was limited to studies published in English and French since January 2007. Additional studies were searched amongst reference lists of all included articles.
We included 89 studies, 19 secondary studies (systematic reviews n = 13, other type of reviews n = 6) and 70 primary studies (experimental studies n = 20, quasi-experimental studies n = 33, other designs n = 17). Even if heterogeneity was found in the characteristics of the 64 selected interventions, emotional support and education were highlighted as the main core components for family-oriented interventions. Mental health and burden were the two most prevalent outcomes found in this scoping review. Interventions targeted families and patients together in 56% of the cases or families alone.
This scoping review provides an actual state of the current evidence available for families of patients with ABI. Extended and heterogeneous literature was found, showing the growing interest for considering ABI as a family issue in recent years. However, the overall level of evidence found indicates that more research is still needed to determine key components to intervene within this specific population.
1University Institute of Higher Education and Research in Healthcare, Faculty of Biology and Medicine, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland
2Department of Nursing, HESAV School of Health Sciences, HES-SO University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland, Lausanne, Switzerland
3Bureau d’Echange des Savoirs pour des praTiques exemplaires de soins (BEST): a Joanna Briggs Institute Centre of Excellence
4Medical Library, Research and Education Department, Lausanne University Hospital, Lausanne, Switzerland
Correspondence: Véronique de Goumoëns, email@example.com
There is no conflict of interest in this project.