The assessment of parent needs following pediatric traumatic brain injury




Armstrong, Kira Emily

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The pediatric version of the Family Needs Questionnaire was administered to parents of children with traumatic brain injuries (TBI, n = 19) a year or more post-injury. Parents of diabetic children (DIAB group, n = 21) and parents of orthopedically injured children (ORTHO group, n = 14) were included as control groups. Parents rated 40 items in terms of their importance and how well these needs have been met. The ORTHO group rated significantly fewer items as important relative to the TBI and DIAB groups (who endorsed a similar number of items). Of those items rated as important, TBI parents' needs were more likely to remain unmet relative to both the DIAB and the ORTHO groups; out of 28 items rated as important, TBI parents report that 19 needs are still unmet. Within the TBI group even for those needs reported as met most items were endorsed by fewer than half of the parents, indicating that a large proportion of the TBI parents still felt those needs were unmet. DIAB and ORTHO parents more consistently reported their needs as met both across items and within groups. Needs most often rated as unmet for TBI parents include the needs for health/medical information, professional support, community support networks, and the need to be involved in their child's care. These results present important findings for TBI rehabilitation professionals. Future studies need to investigate whether TBI parents' needs are unmet because there are no community resources or if the resources available are unused, or not targeting the needs TBI parents feel are most important.



Brain-damaged children