The characteristics of patients who do not seek medical treatment for traumatic brain injury

Brain Inj. 2007 Jan;21(1):1-9. doi: 10.1080/02699050601111419.


Primary objective: To identify factors associated with not seeking medical care for traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Research design: Internet survey.

Methods and procedures: The survey consisted of 17 questions related to demographics, TBI case ascertainment, location and mechanism of injury, type of treatment sought, and post-concussive (PC) symptoms. Logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with not seeking medical care.

Main outcome and results: Of the 1381 survey respondents with TBI, 584 (42%) did not seek medical care. TBI respondents were less likely to seek care if they were older (OR 0.98, 95% CI 0.97-0.99), suffered a mild TBI grade 2/3 (OR 0.42, 95% CI 0.31-0.58), or were injured in the home (OR 0.53, 95% CI 0.36-0.78).

Conclusions: Several factors associated with not seeking medical care after TBI were identified. Raising public awareness of the signs and symptoms of TBI, and the benefits of medical care, could help increase the number of TBI patients who seek medical care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Home / statistics & numerical data
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Attitude to Health
  • Brain Injuries / etiology
  • Brain Injuries / psychology
  • Brain Injuries / therapy*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Middle Aged
  • New York / epidemiology
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • Post-Concussion Syndrome / etiology
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Trauma Severity Indices
  • Unconsciousness / etiology