OBJECTIVE: To explore the perceived interactions between consequences of traumatic brain injury (TBI).
PARTICIPANTS: Fifteen clinicians experienced in working with patients with TBI.
METHODS: Participating clinicians completed an online questionnaire in which they estimated the degree to which consequences of TBI (taken from the Brief ICF Core Set for Traumatic Brain Injury) causally relate to each other. Based on these perceived interactions, a visual network was constructed and centrality measures for this network were computed.
RESULTS: The resulting network demonstrates various strong perceived causal relations between the consequences of TBI. Impairments in consciousness were perceived to most strongly cause other TBI consequences in the network. Difficulties with acquiring, keeping, and terminating a job were perceived to be most strongly caused by other TBI consequences. Difficulties in partaking in complex interpersonal interactions were also perceived to play a central role in the network.
CONCLUSION: In the perception of clinicians, consequences of TBI interact with each other and are thus not solely a direct result of the injury. While more research is needed to map the interactions between consequences of TBI, our results could have important implications for the way we understand and treat the problems patients are faced with after TBI.