Chronic postconcussion symptoms and functional outcomes in OEF/OIF veterans with self-report of blast exposure

Mieke Verfaellie, Ginette Lafleche, Avron Spiro, Carlos Tun, Kathryn Bousquet
Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society: JINS 2013, 19 (1): 1-10
Postconcussion symptoms (PCS) and functional outcomes were evaluated in 91 OEF/OIF outpatient veterans with reported histories of blast-exposure, with the goal of evaluating (1) the association between these outcomes and a clinical diagnosis of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) with or without loss of consciousness (LOC); and (2) the influence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression on PCS reporting and perceived functional limitations. Individuals who reported mTBI with LOC had greater PCS complaints than individuals who reported mTBI without LOC or individuals without mTBI. However, after adjusting for severity of PTSD and depression symptoms, this group difference disappeared. Functional limitations were particularly prominent in the psychosocial domain. Again, PTSD was significantly associated with functional outcomes, but the mTBI with LOC group had greater psychosocial limitations than the other two groups, even when PTSD and depression symptoms were taken into account. These findings highlight the role of mental health in both outcomes, but additionally point to the impact of mTBI with LOC on long-term psychosocial adjustment.

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