Differences between staff groups in perception of risk assessment and risk management of inappropriate sexual behaviour in patients with traumatic brain injury [2018]

This research explored staff perceptions of risk assessment and management of inappropriate sexual behaviour (ISB) displayed in patients following a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). The primary focus was to determine differences in perceptions between qualified (N = 40) and direct care staff (N = 47). Vignettes depicting ISB displayed by a male following a TBI were rated. The vignettes varied in behaviour (intimate versus non-contact) and age of the victim (child versus adult). Ratings for causal explanations (poor management, attention seeking, negative emotion and education), attributions (need for action and increase awareness) and emotions were analysed alongside risk assessment and management variables. Intimate contact ISB and ISB directed towards a child were perceived to be more serious and in need of intervention. Direct care staff perceived ISB to be due to sexual motivations, poor emotion control and to seek attention. They elicited greater negative emotions and based their judgements of risk on seriousness. On the other hand, qualified staff were more concerned about implementing interventions based on the risk of recurrence. Differences between staff groups could cause conflict regarding the assessment and management of ISB in TBI. Training to increase awareness of the behaviour could minimise differences and produce greater cohesion within clinical practise.

Marie Holland & Christine Norman
Neuropsychological Rehabilitation: An International Journal, 25 Jun 2018