Race and ethnicity considerations in traumatic brain injury research: Incidence, reporting, and outcome

Einat K. Brenner, Emily C. Grossner, Benjamin N. Johnson, Rachel A. Bernier, José Soto, Frank G. Hillary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Primary Objective: This study has three goals: to determine whether there is a higher rate of traumatic brain injury (TBI) for people of color (POC), whether TBI studies report racial/ethnic demographics, and whether there is a discrepancy in discharge destinations between Whites and POC. We examined whether 1) a higher percentage of POC would sustain head injuries than expected, 2) the majority of TBI studies examined (>50%) would not include racial/ethnic demographics, and 3) Whites would be discharged to further treatment over POC. Research Design: Retrospective study and literature review. Methods and Procedures: Data from the Pennsylvania Trauma System Foundation was used to determine the number of POC with TBI using X 2 analysis, as well as where patients with TBI were being discharged using a configural frequency analysis. PubMed was used for the literature search to examine the frequency of reporting race/ethnicity in TBI literature. Main Outcomes and Results: Results demonstrated that Blacks sustain more TBIs than would be expected (p < .05), the majority of scientific studies (78%) do not report racial/ethnic demographic information, and Whites are discharged to further care more often than POC. Conclusions: These findings highlight differences in incidence and treatment of TBI between White individuals and POC, raising important considerations for providers and researchers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)799-808
Number of pages10
JournalBrain Injury
Issue number6
StatePublished - May 11 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Neurology


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