242545 Caregiver Stress and Job Strain after TBI: Advancing toward a Conceptual Model

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Portia L. Cole, PhD , Social Work, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA
Kelli Williams Gary, PhD, MPH, MS, OTR/L , School of Allied Health Professions, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA
With increasing recognition that traumatic brain injury (TBI) affects the entire family system as well as the injured person, more research has explored the impact of TBI on family members or caregivers. Research on racial-ethnic differences in caregiving suggests that African American caregivers express stronger cultural reasons for providing care to their relatives as compared to their non-minority caregivers. There is also evidence that caregivers are at risk of emotional disorders such as depression and anxiety, the levels of which are reliably predicted by neurobehavioral problems exhibited by the person with TBI. Our paper will provide an overview of the TBI literature in an effort to understand the factors that contribute to a higher level of caregiver burden and stress among minority caregivers compared to non-minority caregivers. We contend that this is an understudied group of workers and social workers are likely to confront the effects of caregiver stress in various settings. It is our intent to propose the use of a conceptual model that merges what we know about the cultural impact of caregiving, job strain, impact on employment outcomes and organizational responsiveness. Our goal is to use the model to give further credence to the need for work-life interventions aimed at addressing the concerns of African American caregivers in the workforce. Future implications for collaborative practice between public health and occupational social work is considered.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Occupational health and safety

Learning Objectives:
Describe risk factors associated with poor mental health outcomes of TBI caregivers. Discuss impact of caregiving on employment outcomes. Differentiate racial differences in caregiving patterns and experience of job strain. Discuss implications for interdisciplinary collaboration between occupational and public health social workers to design workplace interventions for African American caregivers

Keywords: African American, Caregivers

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Social work practice with Traumatic Brain Injury patient Research on the effects of stress on caregivers of Traumatic Brain Injury
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.