This edition of Brain Injury Professional, entitled “ Health Equity and Brain Injury”, is guest edited by Dr. Juan Carlos Arango-Lasprilla. Juan Carlos Arango-Lasprilla, PhD, is currently a Research Professor at BioCruces Vizcaya Health Research Institute in Bilbao, Spain.
Copies of the Edition
Table of Content:
- Healthcare Disparities in Hispanic Individuals with TBI – Gloria M. Morel Valdés, PsyD • Carolina Fernanda Serrano Román, MS Fabiola Cristina Mercado Nieves, MS • Juan Carlos Arango Lasprilla, PhD
- Traumatic Brain Injury and Arrest Probability: Racial/Ethnic Considerations – Mickeal Pugh Jr., MS • Paul B. Perrin, PhD
- Rehabilitation and Outcome Disparities in Older Adults with Traumatic Brain Injury – Carmen M. Tyler, MA, MEd • Paul B. Perrin, PhD
- Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Employment Outcomes after TBI – Juan Carlos Arango Lasprilla, PhD • Gloria M. Morel Valdés, PsyD Carolina Fernanda Serrano Román, MS • Fabiola Cristina Mercado Nieves, MS
- Rehabilitation Disparities: Examining Micro and Macro-level Barriers among Ethnic and Racial Populations Recovering from a Brain Injury – Patricia Garcia, PsyD • Jessica L. Peramo, MS • Sheryl Katta-Charles, MD Frank Moreno, PharmD
- Moving the Field Toward Health Equity in Traumatic Brain Injury – Monique R. Pappadis, PhD • Chinedu K. Onwudebe, BS Anthony H. Lequerica, PhD • Angelle M. Sander, PhD, FACRM
The US minority population is growing and is projected to constitute up to 51.3% of the country’s total population by the year 2045. Research studies have shown that the risk of certain types of serious illnesses (i.e., diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, hypertension) and injuries (i.e,, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and spinal cord injury) are disproportionately higher in minorities. This phenomenon may be influenced by factors associated with ethnic minority status such as poverty, restricted occupational/educational opportunities, dangerous residential environments, limited access to health care, experience of discrimination, and/or culture-specific health behaviors. Regarding TBI specifically, during the past two decades numerous studies have shown that, compared to Caucasians, minority individuals with TBI have less favorable rehabilitation outcomes. For instance, minorities with TBI are more likely to be unemployed post-injury, have a longer waiting time to see a physician in emergency care, have lower levels of social functioning and higher rates of alcohol abuse after TBI, have fewer social supports available to them, are more likely to be discharged home than to an assisted living or rehabilitation institution, are less likely to be placed in rehabilitation, among others. Most of the studies have found these results to be independent of demographic, health-related variables, functional status at discharge, injury severity and insurance status. For this issue, we have put together a collection of six articles on very relevant topics that include 1) health care disparities in Hispanic individuals with TBI, 2) racial and ethnic considerations on arrest probability after TBI, 3) rehabilitation and outcome disparities in older adults with TBI, 4) racial and ethnic disparities in employment outcomes after TBI, 5) micro and macro level barriers to rehabilitation, and 6) how to move the field toward increased health equity in TBI. Even though raising awareness of these disparities is very important for the field, we think that now is the time to start generating solutions to improve health equity in TBI. For instance, capacity building for healthcare professionals working in brain injury evaluation and rehabilitation is needed, in particular on how to work with minority individuals with TBI. This might take the form of continuing education trainings, workshops, seminars, web-based training, etc.. Finally, it is important to develop rehabilitation programs that are specifically tailored to the needs of different minority groups following a TBI.