Journalism: Exaggerated headline of the day “Most People Experiencing Homelessness Have Had a Traumatic Brain Injury, Study Finds” #TBI

Journalism: Exaggerated headline of the day “Most People Experiencing Homelessness Have Had a Traumatic Brain Injury, Study Finds” #TBI

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A majority of people experiencing homelessness across the world have a history of concussions and other traumatic brain injuries, according to new research out this week. And often, these injuries could have contributed to or been caused by their homelessness, the authors say.

Source: Most People Experiencing Homelessness Have Had a Traumatic Brain Injury, Study Finds

“Most people” turns out to be 53%:

Taken as a whole, the review found that around 53 percent of homeless people had experienced a traumatic brain injury (TBI) at some time in their lives. Among people who reported how seriously they had been hurt, about a quarter had experienced a moderate to severe head injury. Compared to the average person, the authors noted, homeless people are over twice as likely to have experienced any sort of head injuries and nearly 10 times as likely to have had a moderate to severe one.

A more accurate headline would have said “About half” or “Just over half”. I do not know why they feel they must exaggerate everything but that’s Gizmodo. A real newspaper had it correct: “Over 50% of homeless people may have experienced a head injury”.

Disclosure

I have had multiple traumatic brain injuries including a skull fracture (moderate TBI) and separate, multiple knock out blows, mostly in bike crashes that broke helmets and other bones. I still suffer issues related to past TBIs, although I am doing much better than in the past.

This post points to the exaggerated headline and this post is not, specifically, about either TBI or homelessness. Both TBI and homelessness are serious problems. I have a daughter who is a psychiatric nurse practitioner and I believe she said that 100% of the patients in a unit where she had been working had a TBI history. TBI is a serious injury that afflicts millions, many of whom are likely to be undiagnosed – yet can have life changing and life long consequences. Even seemingly mild head blows can be debilitating.

Some good news is that today, head injuries are likely to be taken more seriously when seen by health care professionals. In spite of six head injuries, no one said anything about TBI and I spent decades battling multiple TBI demons. I ran across the TBI Guide, an online e-book, while searching for something else – and was stunned to read page after page about things I had experienced or still was experiencing. I subsequently saw my doctor and a neuropsychologist to address many of the lingering issues.

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