Finnish nurses’ views of support provided to families about traumatic brain injury patients’ daily activities and care

Kirsi Coco, Kerttu Tossavainen, Juha E. Jääskeläinen, Hannele Turunen


Background: Large numbers, almost eight million, of brain injuries are diagnosed worldwide annually. Social support (informational, emotional and practical) has been identified as essential for helping members of TBI patients’ families to cope with the severe situations these injuries cause. We have assessed nurses’ views of the support provided in Finland.

Methods: The target group included all nursing staff (n = 172) of neurosurgical wards in Finland. Data were collected during 2010, from 115 of these nurses working in neurosurgical wards of all five Finnish university hospitals. The response rate was 67 %. The data were analysed (using SPSS version 17 software) by calculating descriptive statistics, applying Kolmogorov-Smirnov tests, and ANOVA (one- and two-way), MANOVA and linear regression analyses.

Results: The results indicate that nurses’ education affects the practical support they provide to TBI patients' family members: registered nurses considered themselves most likely to take into account issues related to liaison with family members. The length of work experience was related to how often nurses reported discussing mood swings and other TBI symptoms with family members.

Conclusions: Providing practical support to TBI patients’ family members requires nurses to possess multidimensional practical competences related to the symptoms caused by the brain injury.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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