Support needs and experiences of family members of wounded, injured or sick UK service personnel

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Abstract

Introduction When a service person has been
wounded, injured or sick (WIS), family members may
provide care during their recovery in an unpaid capacity.
This may occur in diverse environments including hospitals,
inpatient rehabilitation centres, in the community
and at home.
Method Thirty-seven family members of WIS personnel
were interviewed regarding their support needs, family
relationships and use of UK support services. Semistructured,
in-depth telephone interviews were used, with data
analysis undertaken using a thematic approach.
Results ’Family member involvement’ was the main
theme under which four subthemes were situated: ’continuity
of support’, ’proactive signposting and initiating
contact’, ’psychoeducation and counselling’ and ’higher
risk groups’. Family members felt they might benefit from
direct, consistent and continuous care regardless of the
WIS person’s injury or engagement type, and whether the
WIS person was being treated in a hospital, rehabilitative
centre or at home.
Conclusion The findings of this study suggest that family
members of WIS personnel value proactive, direct and
sustained communication from support service providers. We
suggest that families of UK service personnel may benefit
from family care coordinators, who could provide continuous
and consistent care to family members of WIS personnel.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)388-393
JournalJournal of the Royal Army Medical Corps
Volume163
Early online date4 Dec 2017
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Dec 2017

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