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date: 16 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Traditional models of chronic care management have failed to consider the involvement of family members in patient care. Systemic, socio-economic, and cultural factors demand continued care from family members during and following rehabilitation. The financial and emotional burdens incurred by care providers of a family member living with a disability increase caregiver risk for distress, depression, and physical health problems. Current approaches to the efficacious management of caregiver distress emphasize the importance of identifying the reasons and mechanisms behind positive treatment results. Organizational shifts in thinking about the role of families in rehabilitation, as well as refinements in national health care policy will require recognition of the differing care needs of persons with varying disabilities and the impact these have on approaches to effective managing of caregiver stress. It is proposed that interventions including psychotherapy, education, and supportive services to families as they begin their caregiver roles become a “standard of care” and that continued research focus on development of technologically driven devices to increase availability or tools to enhance quality of life while maintaining lower costs. Culturally appropriate services to meet the needs of diverse, underserved populations will result in huge dividends for consumers and providers of health care services.

Keywords: Caregivers, distress, coping, rehabilitation, quality of life

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