Objective: To examine the effects of a residential community reintegration programme for patients with psychosocial problems due to acquired chronic brain injury on caregivers' emotional burden and family functioning. Design: A prospective cohort study with waiting list control and 1-year follow-up. Subjects: Forty-one caregivers of which 28 female. Mean age was 48 +/- 8.3 years and 33 caregivers were parents. Intervention: A structured residential treatment programme was offered to the patients directed at domestic life, work, leisure time and social interactions. Measures: The Involvement Evaluation Questionnaire for Brain Injury (IEQ-BI) for emotional burden, the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) for psychological health and the Family Assessment Device (FAD) for family functioning were used. Results: There was an overall significant effect of Time for all outcome measures (MANOVA T(2) = 9.1, F(15,317) = 64.1, p = 0.000). The effect sizes were moderate for three IEQ-BI sub-scales (partial eta(2) = 0.12-0.17) and small for two sub-scales (partial eta(2) = 0.05-0.09). The effect size for GHQ was moderate (partial eta(2) = 0.11). As for FAD no significant time effects were present (partial eta(2) = 0.00-0.04). Conclusions: Emotional burden and psychological health of the caregivers improved significantly when patients with acquired brain injury and psychosocial problems followed a residential community reintegration programme. Family dynamics remained stable.