Screening for Traumatic Brain Injury: Findings and Public Health Implications : The Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation

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Screening for Traumatic Brain Injury

Findings and Public Health Implications

Dams-O'Connor, Kristen PhD; Cantor, Joshua B. PhD; Brown, Margaret PhD; Dijkers, Marcel P. PhD; Spielman, Lisa A. PhD; Gordon, Wayne A. PhD

Editor(s): Dijkers, Marcel P. PhD; Gordon, Wayne A. PhD

Author Information
Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation 29(6):p 479-489, November/December 2014. | DOI: 10.1097/HTR.0000000000000099



To provide an overview of a series of projects that used a structured self-report screening tool in diverse settings and samples to screen for lifetime history of traumatic brain injury (TBI).


Diverse community settings.


Homeless persons (n = 111), individuals with HIV seeking vocational rehabilitation (n = 173), youth in the juvenile justice system (n = 271), public schoolchildren (n = 174), substance users (n = 845), intercollegiate athletes (n = 90), and other community-based samples (n = 396).



Main Measure: 

Brain Injury Screening Questionnaire.


Screening using the Brain Injury Screening Questionnaire finds that 27% to 54% of those in high-risk populations report a history of TBI with chronic symptoms. Associations between TBI and social, academic, or other problems are evident in several studies. In non–high-risk community samples, 9% to 12% of individuals report TBI with chronic symptoms.


Systematic TBI screening can be implemented efficiently and inexpensively in a variety of settings. Lifetime TBI history data gathered using a structured self-report instrument can augment existing estimates of the prevalence of TBI, both as an acute event and as a chronic condition. Identification of individuals with TBI can facilitate primary prevention efforts, such as reducing risk for reinjury in high-risk groups, and provide access to appropriate interventions that can reduce the personal and societal costs of TBI (tertiary prevention).

© 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

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