• brain injury;
  • caregiver;
  • hope

From the moment an adolescent with acquired brain injury (ABI) is admitted to the hospital, his or her caregiver develops hopes for the recovery and future of the patient; however, rehabilitation nurses have reported that these hopes are not always congruent with the nurse's observations of the adolescent's progression. The purpose of this study was threefold: (1) explore the caregiver's hope for recovery of his or her family member who has experienced an ABI, (2) compare the nurse's hopes for the patient with ABI to those of the caregiver, and (3) identify what caregivers and nurses do to maintain hope for recovery during the rehabilitation process. This qualitative study validated that in some cases there was a disconnect between caregivers' and nurses' hopes for recovery. Four themes related to the caregiver's maintenance of hope were identified: “the importance of family,” “taking one day at a time,” “knowing the patient better,” and “spiritual strength brings me through.” Enhancing the perceptual congruence between nurse and caregiver hope during rehabilitation will ultimately improve patient outcomes.