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Factor analysis of persistent postconcussive symptoms within a military sample with blast exposure.

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: Agency, office or organization under authority of the Sec Def (not affiliated to Army, Navy, or Air Force)

Release Date/Publication: January 01, 2015

Principle Investigator Status: Government

Primary DoD Data Source: Other Survey

Secondary DoD Data Source:

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:
To determine the factor structure of persistent postconcussive syndrome symptoms in a blast-exposed military sample and validate factors against objective and symptom measures.

SETTING:
Veterans Affairs medical center and military bases.

PARTICIPANTS:
One hundred eighty-one service members and veterans with at least 1 significant exposure to blast during deployment within the 2 years prior to study enrollment.

DESIGN:
Confirmatory and exploratory factor analyses of the Rivermead Postconcussion Questionnaire.

MAIN MEASURES:
Rivermead Postconcussion Questionnaire, PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) Symptom Checklist-Civilian, Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression scale, Sensory Organization Test, Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test, California Verbal Learning Test, and Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System subtests.

RESULTS:
The 3-factor structure of persistent postconcussive syndrome was not confirmed. A 4-factor structure was extracted, and factors were interpreted as reflecting emotional, cognitive, visual, and vestibular functions. All factors were associated with scores on psychological symptom inventories; visual and vestibular factors were also associated with balance performance. There was no significant association between the cognitive factor and neuropsychological performance or between a history of mild traumatic brain injury and factor scores.

CONCLUSION:
Persistent postconcussive symptoms observed months after blast exposure seem to be related to 4 distinct forms of distress, but not to mild traumatic brain injury per se, with vestibular and visual factors possibly related to injury of sensory organs by blast.

Citation:

Franke LM, Czarnota JN, Ketchum JM, Walker WC. Factor analysis of persistent postconcussive symptoms within a military sample with blast exposure. J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2015 Jan-Feb;30(1):

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