Traumatic brain injury, head injury, and concussion are all terms that can be used interchangeably when describing the now accepted clinical diagnosis "mild traumatic brain injury." The clinical definition of mild traumatic brain injury has only recently been accepted, and clinicians and researchers still seem to struggle with the term. Understandably, the public is now very confused.
Researchers who polled random people from the community found that the public incorrectly evaluated 20% of basic statements made about traumatic brain injury. In addition, when different terminology was used, the public attributed more a negative association to "brain injury" than to "head injury." Half of the participants who had experienced a concussion did not acknowledge to having had a brain or head injury.
One reason for this confusion is inconsistent information from the Internet. When a person experiences a concussion (mild traumatic brain injury), a decision has to be made whether or not to pursue medical attention. Confusion, inaccurate knowledge, and inconsistent information can mean that many people who require medical attention could be slipping through the cracks.
McKinlay A, Bishop A, & McLellan T. Public knowledge of "concussion" and the different terminology used to communicate about mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI). Brain Injury. (July 2011).