Introduction Informal family caregivers play an increasingly important role in healthcare. Despite their role in ongoing management and coordination of care, caregiver satisfaction with the healthcare services care recipients receive has been understudied. We sought to assess what influences caregiver satisfaction with inpatient care provided to their care recipient among caregivers of veterans with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and polytrauma. Methods Data from the Family and Caregiver Experience Survey, a national survey of caregivers of veterans with TBI and polytrauma, was used to explore factors associated with caregiver satisfaction with the care his/her care recipient received while an inpatient at a US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center. Caregiver and care recipient demographic and injury factors and potential addressable factors including social support, caregiver training received, and caregiver perceptions of being valued by the VA were evaluated for their associations with caregivers’ satisfaction with their care recipients’ healthcare. Results The majority of the 524 caregivers reported being mostly or very satisfied with their care recipient’s inpatient care (75%, n = 393). Higher satisfaction with inpatient care was significantly associated with greater caregiver social support, receipt of training from the VA, and perceptions of being valued by the VA, both on univariate analysis and after controlling for care recipient TBI severity and caregiver’s relationship to the care recipient. Conclusions Results suggest that supporting a strong social network for caregivers, providing caregiver training, and employing practices that communicate that family caregiving is valued by providers and healthcare organizations are promising avenues for improving caregiver satisfaction.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration, Office of Research and Development and a grant from the Health Services Research and Development (HSR&D) service (SDR-07-044) (JG), https://www.hsrd.research.va. gov/. The sponsor was not involved in any aspect of the study’s design and conduct; data collection, management, analysis, or interpretation of data; or the preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript. Support was also provided by the Mayo Clinic Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery, Rochester MN, United States (http://www.mayo.edu/research/ centers-programs/robert-d-patricia-e-kern-center-science-health-care-delivery).
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