HEALTH / WELL-BEING

Mild traumatic brain injury in military service personnel: key issues and considerations

Article

This article explores mild traumatic brain injury among military personnel, considering its definition, prevalence rates, markers, long-term consequences and current treatment.

 

Abstract

This article considers mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). More specifically, it aims to illustrate the current picture of mTBI among military personnel, including its definition, prevalence rates, markers, possible long-term consequences, and current approaches to treatment. Information is drawn from current reports published by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre Task Force on Mild Traumatic Brain Injury and high-impact academic research in the field, mainly making use of US and UK military data. Moreover, this article also includes exclusive data on the number of mTBI cases among the UK military for the period between 1 April 2008 and 31 March 2016 that the author received from the Department of Defence Statistics at the MoD. There is still no agreement on the classification and etiology of and best approach to the management of mTBI. Furthermore, prevalence rates vary considerably among UK and US service personnel. Although current MoD data show that the mTBI rates among UK service personnel are low, the seriousness of the potential long-term effects of mTBI should not be overlooked. Because mTBI is the most controversial form of TBI in terms of its cause and nature, it continues to raise ardent debates among researchers and clinicians. This article recognizes this and thus incorporates as many different perspectives as possible.

Full Reference

Doneva, S. P., 2018. Mild traumatic brain injury in military service personnel: key issues and considerations. Journal of Military, Veteran and Family Health, 4(2). Doi: 10.3138/jmvfh.2017-0012.