Service Needs and Health Outcomes Among Caregivers of Service Members and Veterans Following TBI


This article details a study that examines caregiver needs across health and social services and the impact of unmet needs on caregiver health. The caregiver participants provide help to service members and veterans who sustained a mild to severe or penetrating traumatic brain injury.


The purpose of this study was to examine the (a) prevalence of unmet caregiver needs across eight health care and social service needs and the (b) impact of unmet needs on caregiver health and appraisal outcomes. Six of the 8 needs were each endorsed by a majority of caregivers (59.1%–70.1%). Each need was reported as unmet by 29.5% to 52.7% of caregivers. A significant linear relation was found between number of needs and poorer outcomes (i.e., 4–8 needs  1–3 needs  0 needs). The cumulative number of unmet needs was significantly related to worse outcomes in most areas, while most individual needs were not significantly related to outcomes. One exception was the caregiver’s unmet need for medical health, which was significantly related to increased bodily pain. Continued support from programs and expansion in the breadth and scope of health care and social services for caregivers is required, including identifying the issues that hinder caregivers accessing the services they need.

Full Reference

Brickell, T. A., Lippa, S. M., French, L. M., Gartner, R. L., Driscoll, A. E., Wright, M. M., & Lange, R. T., 2018. Service needs and health outcomes among caregivers of service members and veterans following TBI. Rehabilitation Psychology. Advance online publication.