Effectiveness of an Educational Intervention on Reducing Misconceptions Among Ethnic Minorities With Complicated Mild to Severe Traumatic Brain Injury

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2017 Apr;98(4):751-758. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2016.11.016. Epub 2016 Dec 19.


Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of an educational intervention designed to reduce traumatic brain injury (TBI)-related misconceptions among blacks and Latinos with complicated mild to severe TBI.

Design: Randomized controlled trial with masked 1-month follow-up.

Setting: Community.

Participants: Persons (N=52) with complicated mild to severe TBI (mean best day 1 Glasgow Coma Scale score, 11.27±3.89) were randomly recruited from 141 eligible participants (mean age, 37.71±13.88y; age range, 19-66y; mean months postinjury, 24.69±11.50); 25 participants (48.1%) of participants were black and 27 (51.9%) were Hispanic/Latino. Of the Hispanic/Latino participants, 18 (66.7%) were non-U.S. born and 12 (44.4%) spoke Spanish as their primary language. Twenty-seven individuals were randomized to the educational intervention group and 25 were randomized to the wait-list control group.

Interventions: Single-session educational intervention with written materials provided in English or Spanish.

Main outcome measures: Forty-item Common Misconceptions about Traumatic Brain Injury Questionnaire administered at baseline and 1-month follow-up.

Results: After controlling for ethnic and language differences, a significant between-group main effect (P=.010) and a significant time-group interaction for the Common Misconceptions about Traumatic Brain Injury Questionnaire were noted (Wilks Λ=.89; F1,46=6.00; P=.02). The intervention group showed a decrease in TBI misconception percentages, whereas the wait-list control group maintained similar percentages. At 1-month follow-up, the wait-list control group reported more misconceptions than did the intervention group (P=.019).

Conclusions: An educational intervention developed to address the recovery process, common symptoms, and ways to handle the symptoms provides promise as a tool to decrease TBI misconceptions among persons from ethnically and educationally diverse backgrounds. The effects of therapist characteristics and the client-therapist relation on outcomes should be further explored.

Keywords: Brain injuries, traumatic; Education; Ethnic groups; Minority groups; Rehabilitation.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brain Injuries, Traumatic / ethnology*
  • Brain Injuries, Traumatic / rehabilitation*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hispanic or Latino / education*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires