Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Nursing (M.S.N.)

Degree Program

College of Nursing


Traumatic brain injury occurs without warning, disrupts the life of the individual and family, causing stress. The purpose of this descriptive study was three part: to identify the needs of families of severe traumatic brain injured (TBI) individuals during the critical care experience, to identify who met those needs, and to obtain qualitative data regarding nursing care. Family Systems Theory provided the theoretical framework to support this study.

A convenience sample from a large Midwestern teaching institution consisted of 28 family members of severe TBI individuals. The sample received by mail a demographic profile, a questionnaire (Critical Care Family Needs Inventory), and an additional qualitative section regarding nursing care and overall experience.

The research questions were answered by descriptive analysis. The top ten needs were consistent with previous family needs studies. Themes emerged from the qualitative data revealing insight into the overall system, physicians, communication, and nursing.


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