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PM R. 2016 Jan;8(1):58-68.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.pmrj.2015.05.022. Epub 2015 Jun 5.

Misconceptions and Misattributions About Traumatic Brain Injury: An Integrated Conceptual Framework.

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The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research (TIRR)/Memorial Hermann, 1333 Moursund Avenue, Houston, TX 77030(∗). Electronic address:
JKF-Johnson Rehabilitation Institute, Edison, NJ(†).
JKF-Johnson Rehabilitation Institute, Edison, NJ(‡).


The objective of the present narrative review was to provide a conceptual framework to address common misconceptions in the field of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and enhance clinical and research practices. This framework is based on review of the literature on TBI knowledge and beliefs. The comprehensive search of the literature included seminal and current texts as well as relevant articles on TBI knowledge and education, misconceptions, and misattributions. Reviewed materials ranged from 1970 to 2013 and were obtained from PubMed and PubMed Central online research databases. Research findings from the reviewed literature were integrated with existing social and cognitive psychological concepts to develop a framework that includes: (1) the identification antecedents of TBI-related misconceptions and misattribution; (2) understanding of how inaccurate beliefs form and persist as the result of pre- and postinjury cognitive operations such as informational cascades and attribution biases; and (3) a discussion of ways in which these beliefs can result in consequences in all domains of a survivor's life, including physical and mental health, stigma, and discrimination. This framework is intended to serve as a first stage of development of a model that will improve treatment endeavors and service delivery to individuals with TBI and their families.

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