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The Influence of Cultural Background on Experiences and Beliefs about Traumatic Brain Injury and their Association with Outcome

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 February 2012

Helen Saltapidas
Affiliation:
Monash University, Australia.
Jennie Ponsford
Affiliation:
Monash University, Australia; Monash-Epworth Rehabilitation Research Centre, Epworth Hospital, Australia. jennie.ponsford@med.monash.edu.au
Corresponding

Abstract

The aim of the study was to compare beliefs and experiences of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in patients with TBI from the dominant English-speaking culture in Australia versus those from minority culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds and examine the relative influence of beliefs, acculturation, along with demographic and injury-related variables on outcome. The primary measures included the Illness Perception Questionnaire-Revised (IPQ-R), and the Craig Handicap Assessment and Reporting Technique (CHART). Participants were 70 individuals with mild to severe TBI, including 38 of English-speaking background (ESB) and 32 from CALD backgrounds. Although similar to the ESB participants in education, preinjury employment status, injury severity and experience of TBI, the CALD participants differed significantly from ESB participants on acculturation variables. CALD participants also experienced greater negative emotions and were less likely to have internal locus of control causal beliefs than ESB participants. Regression analyses indicated that describing one's value system as other than Australian, poorer understanding of TBI and greater negative emotional reactions, along with fewer years of education were associated with poorer outcomes on the CHART. Thus, in treating patients from different cultural backgrounds it is important for health professionals to understand beliefs about and responses to TBI, as they could potentially impact on coping, emotional adjustment and long-term outcome.

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Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2008

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