Category: Brain Injury; Health Services Research
Objective : To examine self-reported emergency room visits or hospitalizations among a sample of individuals from Spain and Latin America reporting an injury to the head or neck.
Design : Survey
Setting : General Community
Participants (or Animals, Specimens, Cadavers) : 305 volunteers from Spain and Latin America who endorsed having an injury to the head or neck within their lifetime.
Interventions : Not Applicable
Main Outcome Measure(s) : Self-Administered Brief Ohio State University Traumatic Brain Injury Identification (OSU TBI-ID) Method delivered through an online platform.
Results : As expected, a significantly greater percentage of individuals with LOC reported having been treated in a hospital setting after a head or neck injury (56.2%) compared with those who did not have a LOC (23.7%), χ2=25.4, df=1, p<0.001. However, this leaves 43.8% of individuals with LOC who reported they were never treated in a hospital setting for a head or neck injury. Of the 15 individuals with LOC lasting longer than 30 minutes, 5 (33.3%) denied having been treated in a hospital setting for a head or neck injury.
Conclusions : Among a sample of individuals from Spain and Latin America, LOC was frequently not associated with treatment in a hospital setting. While most of these individuals had milder injuries, a small group had moderate to severe TBI. It is important to recognize that these data do not capture treatment outside a hospital setting, as primary care doctor visits or folk medicine/home remedies, were not assessed. However, it raises a number of potential concerns and questions for future study examining factors such as socioeconomic status and access to care, brain injury awareness, and culture-based health beliefs that influence treatment-seeking behaviors after TBI in Spain and Latin America.
Anthony Lequerica– Senior Research Scientist, Kessler Foundation, East Hanover, New Jersey
Denise Krch– Senior Research Scientist, Kessler Foundation, East Hanover, New Jersey
Juan Carlos Arango-Lasprilla– Ikerbasque Research Professor, Ikerbasque; Biocruces Vizcaya Health Research Institute, Barakaldo, Pais Vasco