Women and traumatic brain injury: "It's not visible damage"

Margaret Alston, Jennifer Jones, Michael Curtin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


With advances in medical technology, more people are surviving major trauma experiences. Those with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) are one such group who may survive for several decades with significant health consequences including physical, cognitive and psychosocial sequelae. TBI sufferers are typically young males with a pre-morbid history of risk taking. Consequently the differential needs of female TBI survivors are less likely to be acknowledged in the literature or by allied health workers. A large quantitative and qualitative study of people with TBI was conducted in rural areas of NSW, Australia in 2004-5. The qualitative study included in-depth interviews with eleven women and twenty-one men. This paper focuses on the eleven women who live in two rural areas of NSW. This data illustrates particular psychosocial consequences of TBI for women and reveals that women are particularly vulnerable to isolation and abuse and are less likely to have a carer. The need for gender to be a factor in ongoing social work and allied health treatment and support of TBI sufferers and their carers is evident from this research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-53
Number of pages15
JournalAustralian Social Work
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012


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