• Are spousal partner perceptions of continuity and discontinuity within the relationship linked to the symptoms of acquired brain injury?

      Yasmin, Natasha; Riley, Gerard; University of Birmingham; University of Derby (Tylor & Francis, 2021-03-18)
      Some partners experience their relationship with a person with brain injury as the continuation of a loving pre-injury relationship (continuity), but others feel that the pre-injury relationship has been lost and replaced with something very different (discontinuity). This study provided a quantitative test of claims arising from qualitative research that certain symptoms of the injury might contribute to the experience of discontinuity – specifically, lack of emotional warmth, reduced social interaction and aggression. Fifty-three partners providing care to someone with brain injury completed questionnaires assessing continuity/discontinuity and a range of symptoms (emotional warmth, conversational ability, aggression, depression, somatic complaints, cognition, communication, aggression, and phys- ical disability). Discontinuity was significantly correlated with all symptom variables except physical disability but, in a multiple regression, only the measures of emotional warmth, conversation, aggression, and depression made a significant unique contribution. Discontinuity has been linked with relationship dissatisfaction and dysfunction, greater bur- den and distress, and a less person-centred approach to the provision of care. Identifying which symp- toms contribute to discontinuity may enable partners to be more effectively supported in terms of how they make sense of and react to those symptoms, so that a greater sense of continuity may be retained.