Volume 22, Issue 3 ,2001

The challenges of integration in health care research
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Abstract

The team approach in neuroscience patient care results in health care professionals interacting on a daily basis. However, the collaboration of health care disciplines in research is limited. The barrier to research integration among disciplines may be related to the diverse views of the quantitative and qualitative paradigms. Health care research is challenged by both the variety of health professionals and differing research paradigms. Patients will benefit from integrated health care research with a coordinated research agenda and efficient use of resources.



Psychological distress and family burden following spinal cord injury: Concurrent traumatic brain injury cannot be overlooked
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Abstract

Although concurrent spinal cord injury (SCI) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) are recognized, there is little acknowledgement of SCI/TBI as a contributor to psychological distress and family burden. By mail-out questionnaire, we evaluated psychological distress and family burden in a married group (n=12) with traumatic SCI who had not been identified as having concurrent TBI on referral to the Canadian Paraplegic Association. Both the person with SCI and the partner completed the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI), the Adjective Checklist, and a Likert strain scale to measure the perception of the partner’s strain. The partner also completed the Zarit Burden Interview. Despite screening criteria designed to selectively recruit individuals without TBI, seven individuals described posttraumatic amnesia (PTA) ≥ 3 days. Subsequently, participants’ reports were divided into two groups - “longer PTA” and “shorter PTA”. On the Brief Symptom Inventory, the two SCI groups did not differ, but the partners of individuals with “longer PTA” had significantly elevated Global Severity Index scores compared to the other partners. The “longer PTA” partner group demonstrated more strain and more burden (as measured by the Likert strain scale and the Zarit Burden Interview). Given the size of the groups (n = 7, n = 5), these findings are presented to illustrate trends and to stimulate further research.



Daring men to be caring men: The dilemma of disability for male caregivers
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Abstract

The presence of a chronic illness such as multiple sclerosis (MS) represents not only overwhelming demands on male caregivers, but ambivalence for men with respect to their masculinity. Men as sole caregivers for spouses with MS feel caught between a rock and a hard place, given their gender socialization and the pressing demands of caring for a dependent and vulnerable spouse. Regular chapter visits within the MS Society in Ontario confirmed the assumption that male caregivers have to contend with a predominant bias among professional female caregivers that men are really not capable of caring for someone with a chronic illness and subsequently cannot be trusted with such responsibility. This bias actually works to undermine men’s perceived capability and predisposition to caring for a vulnerable family member with a chronic illness or disability.