Title

Impaired self-awareness and denial of disability in a community sample of people with traumatic brain injury

Document Type

Article

Abstract

Purpose: To examine the nature and severity of impaired self-awareness (ISA) and denial of disability (DD) in a community-dwelling traumatic brain injury (TBI) population. Additionally, to investigate reliability, internal consistency, and feasibility of the Clinician’s Rating Scale for evaluating Impaired Self-Awareness and Denial of Disability after brain injury (CRS-ISA-DD). Materials and methods: ISA and DD were studied using the CRS-ISA-DD in a cross-sectional study with 78 TBI patients (3.1 years post-injury). Results: 42% of individuals approached consented to participate in this study. Most participants showed one or more symptoms of ISA and DD, but severity scores were in the lower range (ISA: 13.2 ± 16.2; DD: 9.4 ± 10.7). The CRS-ISA-DD takes <10 min to complete, has excellent inter-rater reliability (ISA: ICC(2,1) = 0.928; DD: ICC(2,1) = 0.835), and acceptable-good internal consistency (ISA: α = 0.819; DD: α = 0.645). ISA severity correlated with neuropsychological test scores (rs = −0.30 to −0.47) and injury severity. DD severity correlated with anxiety (rs = −0.22) but not with avoidance coping or defense mechanisms. Conclusions: Low levels of ISA and DD occurred in this sample of TBI patients. The CRS-ISA-DD is a reliable and feasible instrument. We recommend using it as a diagnostic tool to differentiate between ISA and DD once self-awareness problems have been identified.IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATION Unawareness of deficits can persist into the chronic stage when rehabilitation treatment has ended. The two main factors of unawareness, impaired self-awareness and denial of disability, are related to different neurological and psychological mechanisms. The Clinician’s Rating Scale for evaluating Impaired Self-Awareness and Denial of Disability after brain injury (CRS-ISA-DD) can be used to distinguish the two main factors of unawareness.

Publication Date

1-1-2021

Publication Title

Disability and Rehabilitation

ISSN

09638288

E-ISSN

14645165

PubMed ID

34455888

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1080/09638288.2021.1970247

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