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Staying curious: professional curiosity and traumatic brain injury

Staying curious: professional curiosity and traumatic brain injury

Mantell, Andrew and Jennings, Marian (2016) Staying curious: professional curiosity and traumatic brain injury. In: Eighth International Conference on Social Work in Health and Mental Health, 19-23 Jun 2016, National University of Singapore, Singapore. (Unpublished)

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Professional curiosity (PC) can uncover risks for clients who may be reluctant to accept help or are coerced. It has become prominent in the UK in relation to safeguarding children. However, adults with traumatic brain injury (TBI) may also avoid essential help. Cognitive impairments can reduce insight and as a result they may misrepresent their abilities and minimise any risks. This study considers the potential significance of PC to social work practice in the field of TBI.


A scoping review of the social work literature on PC was thematically analysed and applied to TBI.

The literature on PC is in its infancy and mainly produced in relation to safeguarding children. Various factors that promote or distract from PC have application to TBI. For example, increasing the ‘critical assets’ at the practitioner’s disposal, including the understanding of TBI, improves the potential for PC. However, personal, interactional and environmental factors, coupled with employment constraints, for example high workloads, can inhibit PC.


PC is an essential social work trait for safeguarding clients. For people with TBI it also has significant potential for improving their quality of life.

Item Type: Conference or Conference Paper (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: professional curiosity, traumatic brain injury, social work
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Education & Health
Faculty of Education & Health > Department of Psychology, Social Work & Counselling
Last Modified: 13 Aug 2019 10:43
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None

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