Investigating the effects of psychoeducation interventions in improving misconceptions of traumatic brain injury (TBI) among undergraduate university students.

Master Thesis


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There exists a substantial number of studies exploring the misconceptions of TBI and concussion in various geographical regions, but an insufficient number of studies have focused on why this may be the case and what can be done to improve the knowledge amongst different populations. The current study attempted to explore low cost psychoeducation interventions around misconceptions, which can hinder TBI-related prevention, help-seeking behaviours, and recovery. This study includes both quantitative and qualitative components. The study is divided into three parts: Part A: the pre-test component, which seeks to measure TBI knowledge and misconceptions through survey format. Part B: the implementation of different types of psychoeducation interventions delivered through a lecture, video or pamphlet. It also includes the re-administration of the survey (post-test). Part C: an online survey exploring the participants' experiences with the various interventions. All undergraduate students enrolled in the first year psychology PSY1005/7S course at the University of Cape Town (UCT) were invited to participate through the use of convenience sampling and the Student Research Participation Program (SRPP). Statistical analyses included descriptive statistics, one-way and repeated measures ANOVAs, and thematic analyses, related to parts A-C of the study, respectively. The results of the study suggested the positive impact of all three interventions. Each intervention was shown to increase knowledge gain in both TBI and concussion knowledge, at least descriptively. A between-groups analysis showed a significance of p = 0.01 where the lecture intervention yielded the greatest results followed by the video and pamphlet intervention respectively. Adequate awareness, knowledge and understanding of TBI are paramount to the prevention and recovery of trauma-related brain injuries, which is particularly relevant in countries with (probable) high rates of TBI, such as South Africa.