Marwitz, MA, Viginia Commonwealth University/Medical College
of Virginia at
Citation Marwitz, J. (2000).
The Family Needs Questionnaire. The Center for Outcome
Measurement in Brain Injury. http://www.tbims.org/
combi/fnq ( accessed
Family Needs Questionnaire has been used routinely by the Brain
Injury Rehabilitation Service at the Virginia Commonwealth University's
Medical College of Virginia, since 1989. The questionnaire has been
used by American researchers and in other countries including Canada,
Italy, Sweden, and Australia. A recent study was done in the United
Kingdom (Moules and Chandler, 1999) comparing caregivers' responses
to the FNQ and their perceived quality of life. Several studies,
now underway, are comparing the responses of spinal cord and brain
working with families of persons having neurological disabilities
sought to develop a questionnaire which had both clinical and research
value. Items were selected for inclusion based on a review of the
literature on family reactions to brain injury and other disabilities.
Many items were adapted from research questionnaires and structured
interviews (Mauss-Clum & Ryan, 1981; Mathis, 1984; Molter, 1979;
Campbell, 1988; Leske, 1986; Norris & Grove, 1986). A number
of items were developed and included based on needs frequently expressed
during clinical interviews with family members. The final version
was intended for inpatients or outpatients, and respondents with
a sixth grade reading level or greater. Average completion time
is 10-15 minutes.
FNQ includes 40 items representing diverse needs that may appear
during acute rehabilitation and post-discharge. Scores for six factor
analytically derived scales can be calculated: Health Information,
Emotional Support, Instrumental Support, Professional Support, Community
Support Network, and Involvement with Care. Family members are asked
to make two independent ratings. First, an indication of the importance
of each perceived need is rated on a four-point scale ranging from
"not important" to "very important." Second, the family member rates
the extent to which each need has been met.
FNQ can be used to develop individualized educational and therapy
programs tailored to family members' stated needs. Furthermore,
completion of the questionnaire prior to and following intervention
helps provide an index of intervention effectiveness. This process
also provides a mechanism for closely following changes in the dynamic
process of rehabilitation and community integration.
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