Family Caregiver Curriculum

Module 2: Understanding the Effects of TBI and What You Can Do to Help

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This material is intended for caregivers of those with a moderate, severe or penetrating TBI.

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This module explains in more detail the physical and emotional effects of TBI. It also explains how caregivers can help their family member deal with these issues.

Important topics:

  • The effects of TBI, stages of treatment and information about the members of a typical health care team are provided. (Chapter 1)
  • A chapter is devoted to each type of effect. Possible effects within each category are discussed. Information is provided about what caregivers may observe in their loved ones and what can be done to help.
  • Physical Effects (Chapter 2)
  • Cognitive Effects (Chapter 3)
  • Communication Effects (Chapter 4)
  • Behavioral and Emotional Effects (Chapter 5)

To see additional interactive educational tools, please visit the Center for Excellence in Medical Multimedia, our multimedia partner for the Family Caregiver Guide. The CEMM, which created, is a dynamic initiative from the Office of the Surgeon General, supplying award-winning interactive multimedia for patient education throughout the Military Health System.


There will be many changes that a service member/ veteran experiences with a TBI. It is important that caregivers write about the physical, cognitive and behavioral/emotional effects they encounter. It may be helpful to record strategies that have or have not been useful with the family member so they might be used again when other issues arise.