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Couple and Family Therapy with Five Physical Rehabilitation Populations: A Scoping Review

  • Robert Allan (a1) and Michael Ungar (a1)

This article provides a scoping review with a focus on the substantive and methodological issues of the research pertaining to couple and family therapy (CFT) with five physical medical rehabilitation populations. We searched for literature concerned with five populations: spinal cord injury, stroke, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury and amputations. A detailed review of CINAHL, PubMed, and PsycINFO databases identified 14 publications that researched couple/family therapy interventions with these populations. We synthesised the data by outlining and charting the substantive and methodological issues with this research. Findings suggest that individuals who have sustained an injury or are diagnosed with an illness requiring extensive rehabilitation experience increased relationship distress and decreased family functioning. While the literature clearly points to the impact on spouses and families, CFT was primarily used to engage families in efforts to assist health care workers improve physical functioning.

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