Date of Paper

5-2012

Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

msw

Department

socialwork

First Advisor

David J. Roseborough

Abstract

The incidence and awareness of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in the general population has become more prevalent in recent times; however, limited public knowledge and research exists regarding the prevalence of TBI among the homeless population. Through an exploratory, qualitative pilot study, this research investigated possible connections that might exist between TBI and homelessness. Nine expert respondents from various disciplines, ranging from social work to neuropsychology, were interviewed to solicit their professional impressions, opinions and experiences about this subject. Findings indicate that there is a significant connection between TBI and homelessness. Specifically, TBI is believed to be both a causal factor contributing to the onset of homelessness as well as a consequence of homelessness. Findings also indicate that there are significant correlations among TBI, chemical dependency and mental illness. Potential implications for practice include that social workers and other health care professionals will properly screen for TBI by asking their clients specifically about histories of any head trauma. Thus, with proper screening, diagnosis and linkage to appropriate services, individuals with TBI have a much better chance of becoming stabilized so as to experience improved level of functioning and quality of life.

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