Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Ellenbogen, P.S., Meade, M.A., Jackson, M.N., & Barrett, K. (2006). The impact of spinal cord injury on the employment of family caregivers. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 25 (1), 35-44.
Title:  The impact of spinal cord injury on the employment of family caregivers
Authors:  Ellenbogen, P.S., Meade, M.A., Jackson, M.N., & Barrett, K.
Year:  2006
Journal/Publication:  Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation
Publisher:  IOS Press
Full text:  http://www.worksupport.com/documents/meade_JVR2006%283%29.pdf   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  No
Research design:  Qualitative research

Structured abstract:

Background:  As medical care for individuals living with spinal cord injury (SCI) improves the number of individuals that are living at home has increased. For those that cannot completely care for themselves the burden often falls on family members that are unpaid for their support. Research has shown that the demands of being a family caregiver and the impact on their lives can lead to physical and psychological health issues. At the time of this study there were no known articles on the employment issues of family caregivers of individuals with SCI.
Purpose:  The purpose of this study was to explore the impact of SCI on the employment of family caregivers.
Study sample:  Nine caregivers of an individual with SCI were interviewed for this study. They were mostly women (89%) and of non-Hispanic White (55%) race/ethnicity. Six participants were parents and three were spouses.
Data collection and analysis:  Interviews were done either individually or through a focus group. Interviews were examined in order to determine common themes related to employment.
Findings:  Four major themes emerged: 1. Having to create flexibility in work schedules to meet the needs of the family member with SCI. 2. Trying to balance work, caregiving responsibilities, and personal needs. 3. Lack of leisure and personal time. 4. Difficulty with finding and retaining reliable Certified Nursing Aides (CNAs) to help with care.
Conclusions:  Additional research is needed on the experiences of family caregivers of individuals with SCI. This population presents many unique needs and challenges.

Disabilities served:  Spinal cord injury (SCI)