Attitudes about Seeking Social Support in Rural and Urban Areas
Categories: Caregiver and Family Coping
How do attitudes and beliefs about seeking social support compare for individuals with traumatic brain injury living in rural versus urban communities?
Past Studies reveal that individuals with traumatic brain injury can experience social isolation within the first few years after their injury. Former social support networks tend to decrease and dependency on family members for emotional support seems to increase. For some individuals, the experience of being alone and lonely can lead to feelings of depression and a perceived poor quality of life. The reasons why individuals with traumatic brain injury do or do not reach out to others for social support have not been fully examined by researchers. This study provided information about attitudes toward seeking support from others following brain injury. It also examined factors that might influence this type of behavior and quality of life after an injury, including an individual’s personal characteristics (e.g.,
This Study focused on 56 adults with traumatic brain injury who lived in community settings in a Midwest rural area. The participants had experienced their brain injuries at least 6 months prior to the study. The researchers tested and interviewed the participants with a variety of scales to obtain information about their injuries,
Who May Be Affected By These Findings
Individuals with traumatic brain injury and their loved ones, discharge planners, healthcare providers, and researchers
Living in a rural area was associated with more openness to seeking social support and a better quality of life, compared with living in an urban area. This finding was unexpected, given that metropolitan areas have more rehabilitation and vocational services, better access to jobs, and an assumed potential for a better quality of life.
Individuals who were divorced, separated, and lived in a city most frequently indicated
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Find This Study
Farmer, J.E., Clark, M.J., & Sherman, A.K. (2003). Rural versus urban social support seeking as a moderating variable in traumatic brain injury outcome. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, 18, 116-127.