The Man I Once Knew: Grief and Inflammation in Female Partners of Veterans With Traumatic Brain Injury. Journal Article

Authors: Saban, Karen L.; Mathews, Herbert L.; Collins, Eileen G.; Hogan, Nancy S.; Tell, Dina; Bryant, Fred B.; Pape, Theresa Louise Bender; Griffin, Joan M.; Janusek, Linda Witek
Article Title: The Man I Once Knew: Grief and Inflammation in Female Partners of Veterans With Traumatic Brain Injury.
Abstract: Grief, although traditionally conceptualized as a bereavement-related reaction, is also experienced by significant others in response to the profound cognitive and personality changes associated with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in a loved one. Grief associated with the death of a loved one is related to increases in proinflammatory cytokines, yet it is not clear whether this is the case for grief experienced by individuals caring for a significant other with TBI. The purpose of this cross-sectional, exploratory study was to examine grief and its association with a proinflammatory cytokine, tumor necrosis factor a (TNF-a), in wives/partners caring for veterans with TBI. Participants completed written measures of grief, perceived stress, and depressive symptoms and provided morning saliva samples for TNF-a analysis. Participants reported levels of grief comparable to those reported in studies evaluating individuals grieving the death of a loved one. Path analysis revealed that grief was not associated with TNF-a; however, participants reporting high levels of blame/anger, a subscale of the grief scale, had higher levels of TNF-a. In addition, both grief and blame/anger were related to increased perceived stress and depressive symptoms; however, path analysis demonstrated that perceived stress and depressive symptoms did not mediate the influence of blame/anger on TNF-a. These findings suggest that blame/anger associated with grief may be related to the elevations in TNF-a exhibited by individuals caring for a loved one with TBI.
Journal Title: Biological research for nursing
ISSN: 1552-4175; 1099-8004
Publisher: Unknown  
Date Published: 2016