Correlates of depression in adults with severe traumatic brain injury and their carers Academic Article uri icon


  • Although it is generally accepted that social support plays a role in the maintenance of psychological well-being, there has been relatively little direct investigation of the role that social support may play in affecting post-injury depressive symptoms and mediating the effects of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Consequently, social support was selected as the framework within which to investigate possible indicators of depression in adults with severe TBI and their carers. The authors were interested in the degree of association between social support and the criterion variable of depression in the context of demographic and disability-related variables that have been identified as significant correlates of depression. Thirty-five adults with severe TBI (PTA > 7 days) and their primary carers participated in the study. Time post-injury ranged from 3.5-10 years and all the participants were living in the community. Fifty-seven per cent of the adults with TBI and 60% of their carers were classified as showing significant symptoms of depression. As hypothesized, social support contributed significantly to the prediction of depression. In particular, strong-tie support appeared to be an important indicator of well-being for both the participants with TBI and their carers.

publication date

  • January 2000