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HEALTH / WELL-BEING

Understanding the Link Between Traumatic Brain Injury Accompanied by Loss of Consciousness and Well-Being: A Sample of UK Military Veterans

January, 2021
Article:

This piece of research aims to understand the link between traumatic brain injury plus loss of consciousness (TBI+LOC). Using clinical records 3335 treatment seeking veterans were identified, of which 403 veterans took part in the study.  Nearly  half of the sample (48%) reported a TBI + LOC.  TBI+LOC  was most strongly associated with drug use and childhood adversity in this sample of treatment seeking veterans.

Abstract

Objective: To investigate the association between reported traumatic brain injury plus loss of consciousness (TBI + LOC) and a range of demographic, military, and physical and mental health factors among a sample of UK veterans seeking support for mental health difficulties. Design: The present study was a cross-sectional study. Participants: Clinical records were used to identify a sample of treatment-seeking UK veterans (N = 3335), of which a total of 403 took part. Main measures: Information on demographic characteristics, military experiences, and a range of physical and mental health difficulties was collected. Results: Almost half of the sample (48%) reported a TBI + LOC, which was most strongly associated with drug use and childhood adversity. More modest associations also emerged with earlier service termination, likelihood of unemployment, as well as chronic pain and poor mobility. Conclusion: The findings suggested that TBI + LOC may not specifically be associated with symptoms of posttraumatic stress in a sample of treatment-seeking veterans. The demonstrated links between TBI + LOC and adverse childhood, drug use, physical health, and employment may be useful in improving the assessment and rehabilitation of veterans with TBI + LOC.

Full Reference

Hendrikx LJ, Murphy D. Understanding the Link Between Traumatic Brain Injury Accompanied by Loss of Consciousness and Well-Being: A Sample of UK Military Veterans. J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2021 Jan-Feb 01;36(1):34-43. doi: 10.1097/HTR.0000000000000599. PMID: 32769834.

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