Technical Assistance

Brain Injury Screening

In the general population, we know that many people experience the consequences of mild brain injury but never realize that many of their problems are due to a "long ago" blow to the head. We also know that when mild TBI is identified, whether in children or adults, appropriate services often can be brought to bear to help the person cope with persisting symptoms, particularly memory problems.

We developed the Brain Injury Screening Questionnaire (BISQ) to address the issue of unidentified (or hidden) TBI. The BISQ is a simply administered questionnaire to determine, first, if a person has experienced a blow to the head or a medical emergency, with an associated loss of consciousness or a feeling of being "dazed and confused." It then uses a list of symptoms to determine if the person being screened has the kinds of persisting problems typically found after brain injury that suggest he or she should be tested (with neuropsychological tests) to determine if TBI is the likely cause of these symptoms. The BISQ is completed via interview or can be self-administered. It is electronically scorable.

The format for the BISQ is based on the "HELPS" instrument, developed by Picard, Scarisbrick, and Paluck (1991) at Mount Sinai's TBI Rehabilitation and Prevention Center. The list of symptoms in the BISQ was adapted from the TBI Symptom Checklist (Medical College of Virginia, undated) and the TIRR Symptom Checklist, created by Don Lehmkuhl (1988).

Those interested in developing a screening program — in schools, service agencies, health programs, and the like — can obtain the BISQ, with technical assistance to insure appropriate use in the variety of settings in which screening may be undertaken. Costs include training, the questionnaire itself, and scoring.

If you are an organization interested in obtaining more information about technical assistance in establishing a screening program for TBI, please e-mail Dr. Wayne Gordon

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Brain Injury Research Center of Mount Sinai
5 E. 98th Street, B-15
New York, NY 10029

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