A systematic review of care needs of people with traumatic brain injury (TBI) on a cognitive, emotional and behavioural level

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Aims and objectives.To gain an insight into the neuropsychological care needs on a cognitive, emotional and/or behavioural level from the perspective of the person living with minor traumatic brain injury.Design.A systematic literature review.Method.Medline, Psychlit, CINAHL, Cochrane and Scholar databases (1995–2007) were searched.Results.The research has lead to three large-scale, American surveys on people with minor, moderate or severe traumatic brain injury. None of the surveys focused only on minor traumatic brain injury. The surveys did not made a distinction with respect to seriousness of the brain damage and the corresponding needs. In general, people with traumatic brain injury prove to have important continuing neuropsychological care needs in the chronic phase. On a cognitive level, there seems to be a particular need for aid with memory problems and problem-solving skills. The main emotional needs are help with one's ‘mood’, mood swings and learning how to deal with stress. For the behavioural problems, there is a particular need to help control one's temperament. The need for care, especially for cognitive and behavioural problems, seems to increase with time. The professional help offered in the long term after the traumatic event likewise seems to be inadequate.Conclusion.The results of this systematic review show that we know very little about the precise needs of people with minor chronic traumatic brain injury. To change this, qualitative research is needed, allowing an in-depth analysis of the needs and experiences of patients currently living with traumatic brain injury.Relevance to clinical practice.A better knowledge and understanding of the neuropsychological needs of patients with traumatic brain injury will help health care providers to offer more effective care.

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