In a study recently published in the British Journal of Social work, a team from The Disabilities Trust explored the relationship between one’s awareness of into their own difficulties, functional outcome following brain injury, risk and need for support.

Using a tool called the Brain Injury Needs Indicator (BINI), the authors found that taking into account both the level of recovery after brain injury and the level of self-awareness into difficulties, also known as insight, provided a better estimate of overall risks and care needs than considering recovery or insight in isolation. Those with lower levels of insight scored higher on risk than those with higher insight, even when the level of recovery was comparable.

In practice, this means that self-report interviews and assessment tools may not always be appropriate to fully assess support needs in people with brain injury, and that seeking the views of someone who knows the person well may uncover hidden needs.

A robust indicator of risk and care need

The BINI was originally designed to support social workers and other assessors in their social care assessments of people recovering from an acquired brain injury, and to help them determine what social care support they might need. It is referenced in the Care Act Guidance (point 6.43) as a tool that can be used as part of the assessment to help identify deficits in people with a suspected or diagnosed brain injury.

The published study evidences the validity of the tool as a robust indicator of risk and care need.

More information about the study is available on the publisher’s webpage: https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcab026.

Registered professionals can request access to the BINI on: http://www.thedtgroup.org/bini-bisi-register