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European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2011 June;47(2):193-201


lingua: Inglese

Traumatic brain injury in the Gaza Strip: adults and children and their caregiver disability burden

Hawamdeh Z. M. 1, Ibrahim A. I. 2, 3, Mezher A. A. 4

1 Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan 2 Department of Physical Therapy for Pediatrics and Pediatric Surgery, Faculty of Physical Therapy, Cairo University Giza, Egypt 3 Department of Physical Therapy, College of Applied Medical Science, University of Dammam, Dammam, KSA 4 Department of Physical Therapy/Special Education, Ministry of High Education, Gaza, Palestine


BACKGROUND: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) may lead to long term behavioral, cognitive, physical, mental, social deficits which might influence daily activities of patient and caregiver.
AIM: To determine the disability aspects and its levels among patients with TBI and their caregivers in Gaza Strip.
DESIGN: Cross section study with analytic descriptive structure.
SETTING: El-Wafa Medical Rehabilitation and Specialized Surgery Hospital in Gaza Strip in the period between 2000 to 2007.
POPULATION:A convenience sampling strategy was used to obtain one hundred patients with TBI and their caregivers.
METHODS: On-site visits were arranged with all participants to collect data about their functional outcome measures. These measures included: 1) Functional Independence Measurement (FIM); and 2) Disability Rating Scale (DRS) to evaluate the functional independence level and the degree of disability of patients with TBI respectively; 3) Community Integration Questionnaire (CIQ) to evaluate the degree of community integration of caregivers.
RESULTS: The worst performance of patients with TBI according to FIM was recorded in bowel and bladder control (40.1% and 35.8% respectively) while the DRS questionnaire revealed that employability established the area of greatest disability for patients with TBI (69.33%). In CIQ the greatest burden on caregivers was noted in productivity, social integration, and home integration with weight means equal 50.00%, 51.67% and 56.00% respectively.
CONCLUSION:Both patients with TBI and their caregivers reported high level of disability burden. Caregivers showed low level of community integration in the society due to caring patients with TBI.
Clinical Rehabilitation Impact. This study enhances the responsible rehabilitation organizations (governmental, non-governmental and international) to improve the provided health services to patients with TBI and their caregivers and advocates these individuals’ rights.

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