Surrogate expectations in severe brain injury.

TitleSurrogate expectations in severe brain injury.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsSuppes, Alexandra, and Fins Joseph J.
JournalBrain Inj
Date Published2013

OBJECTIVE: To understand what influences surrogate decision-makers' expectation that a patient with a disorder of consciousness (DOC; those in a coma, the vegetative state or the minimally conscious state) will recover.

SUBJECTS: Forty-one surrogates representing 37 DOC patients completed a survey about their experiences in having a family member with a DOC.

METHODS: A quantitative questionnaire assessed surrogate and patient's demographic, medical and psychosocial features that may explain surrogate's expectation of patient recovery.

RESULTS: Surrogates who were more relationally enmeshed with the patient thought the patient could communicate better and thought technology would improve treatment of patients with brain injury had greater expectations of recovery. Source of injury and patient's current diagnosis did not explain expectations.

CONCLUSION: Relational factors between the patient and the surrogate may explain the surrogate's expectation that the patient will recover more than factors that matter to clinicians such as the source of injury or the patient's diagnosis.

Alternate JournalBrain Inj
PubMed ID23895513

Weill Cornell Medicine Consortium for the Advanced Study of Brain Injury 520 East 70th Street New York, NY