JOURNAL ARTICLE

Multisensory impairment reported by veterans with and without mild traumatic brain injury history

Terri K Pogoda, Ann M Hendricks, Katherine M Iverson, Kelly L Stolzmann, Maxine H Krengel, Errol Baker, Mark Meterko, Henry L Lew
Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development 2012, 49 (7): 971-84
23341273
With the use of Veterans Health Administration and Department of Defense databases of veterans who completed a Department of Veterans Affairs comprehensive traumatic brain injury (TBI) evaluation, the objectives of this study were to (1) identify the co-occurrence of self-reported auditory, visual, and vestibular impairment, referred to as multisensory impairment (MSI), and (2) examine demographic, deployment-related, and mental health characteristics that were potentially predictive of MSI. Our sample included 13,746 veterans with either a history of deployment-related mild TBI (mTBI) (n = 9,998) or no history of TBI (n = 3,748). The percentage of MSI across the sample was 13.9%, but was 17.4% in a subsample with mTBI history that experienced both nonblast and blast injuries. The factors that were significantly predictive of reporting MSI were older age, being female, lower rank, and etiology of injury. Deployment-related mTBI history, posttraumatic stress disorder, and depression were also significantly predictive of reporting MSI, with mTBI history the most robust after adjusting for these conditions. A better comprehension of impairments incurred by deployed servicemembers is needed to fully understand the spectrum of blast and nonblast dysfunction and may allow for more targeted interventions to be developed to address these issues.

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