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Three-year outcome following moderate-to-severe TBI in U.S. military service members: a descriptive cross-sectional study.

Publication Status: Published

Sponsoring Organization: Defense Health Agency (formerly TRICARE Management Activity)

Sponsoring Office: Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center

Congressionally Mandated: No

Funding Source: Defense Health Agency (formerly TRICARE Management Activity)

Release Date/Publication: August 01, 2014

Principle Investigator Status: Government

Primary DoD Data Source: Other

Secondary DoD Data Source:

Abstract

This study examined the prospective course of neurobehavioral symptom reporting and health-related quality of life within the first 3 years following moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). Participants were 52 U.S. service members who were evaluated following a moderate-to-severe TBI sustained in the combat theater during Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom (90.4%), or from other noncombat-related incidents. Participants completed the Neurobehavioral Symptom Inventory and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder-Checklist within 3 months postinjury, and at least one follow-up telephone interview at 12 (n = 27), 24 (n = 31), or 36 months (n = 22) postinjury. Approximately half of the sample (41.9%-63.0%) reported "persistent" symptoms from baseline to follow-up. A substantial minority also "improved" (22.2%-31.8%) or "developed" new symptoms (3.7%-16.1%). Ongoing physical and mental health problems were also reported. The number of service members receiving mental health treatment significantly reduced between 12 and 36 months postinjury (48.1%-18.2%), while complaints of bodily pain significantly increased (40.7%-68.2%). Despite ongoing symptom reporting, few reported suicidal/homicidal ideation (6.5%-9.1%), and a substantial majority reported good/excellent health status (74.1%-90.9%) and satisfaction with their life (81.5%-90.9%). Continued support and care for all service members who sustain a combat-related moderate-to-severe TBI is recommended, regardless of the presence or absence of symptom reporting within the first few months postinjury.

Citation:

Brickell TA, Lange RT, French LM. Three-year outcome following moderate-to-severe TBI in U.S. military service members: a descriptive cross-sectional study. Mil Med. 2014 Aug;179(8):839-48.

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