Preliminary investigation of misconceptions and expectations of the effects of traumatic brain injury and symptom reporting
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Objective: This study aimed, first, to introduce a new measure for examining misconceptions of the effects of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and, secondly, to conduct a preliminary investigation of the impact of misconceptions and expectations on level of symptom reporting. Methods: The Head Injury Knowledge Scale (HIKS) was piloted for its utility in this study using a sample (n?=?13) of individuals with brain injury. A sample of 99 uninjured participants was randomly allocated into either TBI simulation (n?=?59) or control (n?=?40) groups using a 3:2 allocation ratio. All participants initially completed the HIKS and then controls completed the Symptom Expectancy Checklist (SEC). The TBI simulation group was presented with a simulation scenario concerning severe TBI and then completed the SEC. Retrospective data on the SEC for individuals with a severe TBI (n?=?38) were used for comparison purposes. Results: The HIKS was deemed suitable for use in the present study based on pilot data and internal consistency analysis of the two sub-scales (a?>?0.60). The uninjured participants displayed a greater tendency to over-generalize than minimize the effects of TBI (p?<?0.001). The TBI simulation group reported a higher level of symptoms on the SEC than controls and those with severe TBI (p?<?0.001). However, level of symptom reporting on the SEC in the simulation group was not significantly related to misconceptions of the effects of TBI (p?>?0.05). Conclusions: Based on these preliminary findings, the HIKS may provide a useful measure of the relative tendency to over-generalize or minimize the effects of TBI. However, further research is needed to investigate the reliability and validity of the HIKS prior to clinical use.
Biological Psychology (Neuropsychology, Psychopharmacology, Physiological Psychology)