The Association between Community Participation and Social Internet Use among Adults with Traumatic Brain Injury

Bruce Caplan, Jennifer Bogner, Lisa Brenner, James Malec, Jessica M. Ketchum, Mitch Sevigny, Tessa Hart, Therese M. O'Neil-Pirozzi, Angelle M. Sander, Shannon B. Juengst, Thomas F. Bergquist, Laura E. Dreer, Gale G. Whiteneck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To examine the association between social Internet use and real-world societal participation in survivors of moderate-severe traumatic brain injury. Design: Prospective cross-sectional observational study. Setting: Ten Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems Centers. Participants: A total of 331 participants in the Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems, interviewed at any follow-up year between April 2014 and March 2015. Main Measures: Survey on Internet use, including social media and other online socialization; Participation Assessment with Recombined Tools - Objective with separate analyses of Productivity, Social Relations, Out and About subscales; covariates included demographics, injury variables, and functional and emotional status at follow-up. Results: Participants were classified as social Internet users (N = 232) or nonusers (N = 99). Users had significantly higher Participation Assessment with Recombined Tools - Objective Social Relations scores than nonusers. A similar finding pertained to Out and About scores, with the between-group difference significantly greater for those with greater depressive symptoms severity. Users and nonusers did not differ significantly on Productivity subscale. Conclusions: The positive association between social Internet use and real-world social participation suggests that people with traumatic brain injury do not use social media as an alternative to real-world socialization. Rather, it is likely that similar barriers and facilitators affect both online and real-world social participation following traumatic brain injury. Emotional function should be considered as a moderating factor in further studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)254-261
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation
Volume35
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020

Keywords

  • Internet
  • participation
  • social media
  • traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Neurology

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