Predictors of caregiver burden in caregivers of individuals with traumatic or non-traumatic brain injury: A scoping review

Amanda Kjeldgaard, Pernille Langer Soendergaard, Mia Moth Wolffbrandt, Anne Norup*

*Corresponding author for this work


BACKGROUND: Caregivers of individuals with traumatic (TBI) or non-traumatic (nTBI) brain injuries are at risk of significant caregiver burden. Consequently, it is crucial to examine predictors of caregiver burden to enable early identification and intervention.

OBJECTIVE: To examine predictors of caregiver burden in caregivers of individuals with TBI/nTBI.

METHODS: A scoping review was conducted in the bibliographic databases PubMed, EMBASE (Ovid) and APA PsycInfo (EBSCO). Search terms included: 'acquired brain injur*', 'traumatic brain injur*', 'brain injur*', 'non-traumatic brain injur*', or 'stroke*' combined with 'burden', 'caregiver burden', 'perceived burden', or 'caregiver strain'. The search was limited to articles written in English and published in academic journals between 2000 and March 2022. EndNote was used to manage the references and identify duplicates.

RESULTS: Twenty-four studies were included. Care recipient-related predictors of caregiver burden included more severe injuries, functional disabilities (including decreased physical and neuropsychological functioning), and worse mental health. Caregiver-related predictors included more time spent caregiving, worse mental health, and unmet needs. For several predictor variables, evidence was mixed or vague.

CONCLUSION: The results highlight which caregivers are at risk of caregiver burden and point to several areas of potential intervention to prevent caregiver burden. Future research should explore the relationship between characteristics of the caregiver and caregiver burden, including coping style, problem-solving techniques, and personality, as these have been sparsely investigated and are potentially modifiable through intervention. Further research is needed to elucidate if burden can be prevented by interventions targeting caregivers at risk. Addressing these gaps may clarify the link between caregiver burden and predictor variables and assist in development of interventions that may prevent burden.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)9-28
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Brain
  • Brain Injuries
  • Brain Injuries, Traumatic
  • Caregivers/psychology
  • Humans
  • Mental Health


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