Traumatic brain injury rates and sequelae: A comparison of prisoners with a matched community sample in Australia
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Aim: To compare rates of past reported traumatic brain injury (TBI) in a prisoner sample with those in a control group drawn from the same location of usual residence. Method: The prisoner group comprised a consecutive sample of men (n=200) received into custody and screened by face-to-face interview. The control group comprised men (n=200) matched for location of usual residence screened by telephone interview. Participants were asked about past TBIs and screened for drug and alcohol abuse, impulsivity and dissocial personality disorder. Results: Eighty-two per cent of prisoners and 71.5% of community participants reported at least one past TBI of any severity (i.e. with or without a loss of consciousness (LOC)) and 64.5% of prisoners and 32.2% of community participants reported at least one TBI associated with a LOC. Prisoners were more likely to report persisting side-effects of TBI and were much more likely to screen positive for impulsivity and dissocial personality disorder. Multivariate analyses found no significant association between TBI frequency or severity and custody/community group membership. Conclusions: High reported rates of TBI in prisoner populations may reflect the excess of socio-demographic risk factors for TBI. Results of the current study do not support a role for TBI as causally related to criminal conduct.
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