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Neurobehavioral Symptom Profiles for the Behavioral Assessment Screening Tool in Chronic Traumatic Brain Injury.

OBJECTIVE: To identify neurobehavioral symptom profiles among persons with chronic traumatic brain injury (TBI) using the Behavioral Assessment Screening Tool (BAST) and to consider participant characteristics that differ between profile groups.

SETTING: Community.

PARTICIPANTS: Participants (n = 615) were English-speaking adults (≥18) and had a self-reported history of at least one TBI of any severity.

DESIGN: Secondary analysis of cross-sectional data.

MAIN MEASURES: The BAST measures neurobehavioral symptoms in the domains of Negative Affect, Fatigue, Executive Dysfunction, Impulsivity, and Substance Misuse.

RESULTS: Using latent profile analysis (LPA), we identified 3 different neurobehavioral profiles. Overall symptom frequency and differences in the pattern of symptom frequency across domains differentiated the profile groups. Average domain scores differed significantly across the profiles (P < .001) for all domains except Fatigue (P = .076). Those in profile 3 (High-Risk group) reported the most frequent symptoms across all domains (similar Negative Affect frequency as profile 1). Substance Misuse was especially high in this group. Compared to profile 2 (High Negative Affect group), participants in profile 1 (Moderate-Risk group) endorsed significantly more frequent (and more variable) symptoms across all BAST domains, particularly Impulsivity and Substance Misuse. Participants in profile 2 endorsed the least frequent symptoms across all domains. Demographic comparison showed that groups differed based on gender, age, and injury severity (mild vs moderate-severe), with profile 3 composed of the most men and the most persons in early adulthood, and profile 2 composed of the most women and those with mild TBI.

CONCLUSIONS: We differentiated 3 neurobehavioral symptom profiles among persons with chronic TBI and determined differences in sociodemographic factors between the groups. Future research should focus on validating these profiles in another sample of individuals with chronic TBI. Characterizing persons according to multidimensional symptom profiles could allow for more tailored approaches to predict and prevent long-term negative outcomes.

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