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Title: What are we doing to prevent our clients with brain injury from being scammed online? Understanding clinicians' experiences and evaluating a capacity-building workshop.
Epworth Authors: Gould, Kate
Carolan, Matthew
Ponsford, Jennie
Keywords: Acquired Brain Injury
Monash-Epworth Rehabilitation Research Centre, Epworth Healthcare, Melbourne, Australia
Epworth Rehabilitation, Mental Health and Chronic Pain Clinical Institute
Issue Date: Dec-2020
Citation: Brain Impairment, 21, supp. 3, pp. 318-319
Conference Name: 43rd Annual Conference of the Australasian Society for the Study of Brain Impairment
Conference Location: Perth, Western Australia (cancelled due to COVID)
Abstract: Background and objectives: Cybercrime is a growing problem, costing more than $5b worldwide and $100m in Australia annually. Online scams can cause significant psychosocial impairment, forensic risks and even physical or sexual harm. As scammers become increasingly sophisticated, greater community awareness and protection is required, with a focus on those most at risk. Individuals with acquired brain injury (ABI) are potentially highly vulnerable due to cognitive difficulties which may prevent scam detection. However, there has been no previous research to explore cyberscams in individuals with ABI nor there is clinical guidance for cyberscam identification, prevention or treatment. This study aimed to 1) investigate clinician's experiences in identifying and treating cyberscams after ABI and 2) evaluate the impact of a cyberscam workshop for ABI clinicians. <br/>Method(s): An online survey for ABI clinicians explored the frequency, types, associated factors and interventions for cyberscams after ABI and was examined descriptively. Self-ratings of clinician confidence, skills and knowledge were collected. Workshop attendees were invited to repeat the self-evaluation survey at 1 and 6 weeks post-workshop, analysed using paired-samples t-tests. <br/>Result(s): Participants were 101 ABI clinicians from Australia and New Zealand. Half of the participants reporting having at least one client with ABI affected by cyberscams, predominantly romance scams initiated over social media. Clients were predominantly male, high school educated and had moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injuries. Increased vulnerability was associated with lack of insight, reduced problem-solving ability and loneliness. No prevention or intervention approaches were rated as having high effectiveness. The workshop evaluation revealed a significant increase in self-reported knowledge, skills, confidence and overall capacity (n = 46, all p<.001) after 1 week compared to pre-workshop ratings. There were no differences in ratings between 1 and 6 weeks post-workshop (n = 26, all p>.05). <br/>Conclusion(s): This is the first study to examine cyberscams after ABI, finding it to be a common problem, particularly affecting those with more severe brain injuries and associated cognitive impairments and social isolation. Whilst the workshop was found to be an effective capacity-building programme for clinicians, the lack of identified prevention or intervention options underscores the need for further research in this area.
Type: Conference Poster
Affiliated Organisations: Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health, School of Psychological Sciences, Monash University, Clayton, Australia
Type of Clinical Study or Trial: Survey
Appears in Collections:Rehabilitation

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