Associations among PTSD and Postconcussive Symptoms in the Long-Term Impact of Military-Relevant Brain Injury Consortium-Chronic Effects of Neurotrauma Consortium Prospective, Longitudinal Study Cohort

Maya E. O'Neil, Daniel W. Klyce, Terri K. Pogoda, David X. Cifu, Barry E. Eggleston, David C. Cameron, Elisabeth A. Wilde, William C. Walker, Kathleen F. Carlson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To describe rates of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) with and without concurrent posttraumatic stress disorder a sample of former and current military personnel, and to compare the factor structure of the Neurobehavioral Symptom Inventory (NSI) based on whether participants sustained mTBI with and without a positive posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) screen. Setting: Participants recruited and tested at 7 Veterans Affairs (VA) sites and 1 military training facility as part of a national, longitudinal study of mental health, physical, and cognitive outcomes among veterans and service members. Participants: Total of 1540 former and current military personnel with a history of combat exposure. Design: Cross-sectional analysis of observational data, including confirmatory factor analysis. Main Measures: NSI and PTSD Checklist for DSM-5 (PCL-5). Results: Most participants (81.5%) had a history of mTBI and almost half of these screened positive for PTSD (40.5%); only 23.9% of participants without a history of mTBI screened positive for PTSD. Participants with a history of mTBI reported higher elevations of NSI and PCL-5 symptoms compared with those without a history of mTBI. Confirmatory factor analyses of the NSI demonstrated good model fit using a 4-factor structure (somatosensory, affective, cognitive, and vestibular symptoms) among groups of participants both with and without a history of mTBI. Conclusion: Symptoms of mTBI and PTSD are strongly associated with each other among veterans and service members with a history of combat exposure. The 4-factor NSI structure is supported among participants with and without a history of mTBI. These findings suggest the potential benefit of a holistic approach to evaluation and treatment of veterans and service members with concurrent and elevated postconcussive and posttraumatic stress symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • combat exposure
  • confirmatory factor analysis
  • mild traumatic brain injury
  • military service members
  • Neurobehavioral Symptom Inventory
  • postconcussive symptoms
  • posttraumatic stress
  • veterans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Neurology

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