Awareness and distress after traumatic brain injury: A relative's perspective

George P. Prigatano, Susan Borgaro, Jason Baker, Jennifer Wethe

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine the relationship between relatives' distress level and their ratings of impaired awareness for persons with traumatic brain injury (TBI). Design and Outcome Measures: Participants were 25 patients with TBI, 16 with probably dementia, and 15 with memory complaints but no dementia. Participants completed the Barrow Neurological Institute Screen for Higher Cerebral Functions. Relatives of all patients completed the Patient Competency Rating Scale (Relative Form). Relatives also rated their distress level on a scale from 0 (no distress) to 10 (severe distress) and then rated the patient's level of awareness of their difficulties, also on a scale from 0 (not aware) to 10 (completely aware). Setting: Clinical neuropsychology outpatient service of a neurological institute and medical center. Results: For relatives of patients with TBI, a significant correlation of -0.52 (P = .006) was found. Correlations for the dementia and memory complaint groups were -0.62 (P = .03) and -0.39 (P = .20), respectively. Conclusions: The presence of brain dysfunction associated with neuropsychological disturbances appears to influence the magnitude of the relationship between the distress level of family members and their ratings of impaired awareness in persons with TBI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-367
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2005


  • Impaired awareness
  • Relative's distress
  • TBI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Neurology


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