British Journal of Clinical Psychology

Skip to Search

Skip to Navigation

Volume 37 Issue 4 (November 1998), Pages 371-473

A retrospective analysis of expressed emotion (EE) and affective distress in a sample of relatives caring for traumatically brain‐injured (TBI) family members (pages 431-439)

Objectives. To examine levels of expressed emotion (EE) and affective distress in relatives caring for severely brain‐injured family members.

Design. The study took the form of a retrospective, observational cross‐sectional analysis.

Method. Data on 28 relatives were reviewed. Each participant completed one affective health‐related questionnaire (Leeds Scales for the Self‐Assessment of Anxiety and Depression; Snaith, Bridge & Hamilton, 1976) and their EE was rated using the Camberwell Family Interview (CFI; Brown, Birley & Wing, 1972; Vaughn & Leff, 1976, modified for head‐injury relatives. Participants were rated as either high or low EE. Comparative statistical analysis examined differences in affective distress between the two groups.

Results. Of the 28 participants, 12 were rated high EE and 16 were rated low EE. Levels of anxiety were significantly higher among the high EE group, but levels of depression were not significantly different between the high and low EE groups. A significant correlation was found between EE and carer status, i.e. sole carers or family carers, with sole carers displaying significantly higher levels of EE than family carers. Multiple regression also revealed that carer status was most predictive of EE.

Conclusions. Discussion considers EE as a coping strategy. Further research into the predictive capability of EE as an indicator of affective distress in head‐injury families is suggested.

Add This link

Bookmark and Share>