Social work-generated evidence in traumatic brain injury from 1975 to 2014: A systematic scoping review

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Abstract

The International Network for Social Workers in Acquired Brain Injury (INSWABI) commissioned a systematic scoping review to ascertain the social work-generated evidence base on people with traumatic brain injury (TBI) of working age. The review aimed to identify the output, impact and quality of publications authored by social workers on this topic. Study quality was evaluated through assessment frameworks drawn from the United Kingdom National Service Framework for Long-Term Conditions. In the 40-year period from 1975 to 2014, 115 items were published that met the search criteria (intervention studies, n = 10; observational studies, n = 52; literature reviews, n = 6; expert opinion or policy analysis, n = 39; and others, n = 8). The publications could be grouped into five major fields of practice: families, social inclusion, military, inequalities and psychological adjustment. There was a significant increase in the number of publications over each decade. Impact was demonstrated in that the great majority of publications had been cited at least once (80.6%, 103/115). Articles published in rehabilitation journals were cited significantly more often than articles published in social work journals. A significant improvement in publication quality was observed across the four decades, with the majority of studies in the last decade rated as high quality.

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