Posttraumatic stress symptoms in OIF/OEF service members with blast-related and non-blast-related mild TBI.NeuroRehabilitation. 2010; 26(3):223-31.N
To examine the proportion and severity of stress-related symptoms in U.S. service members with mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBI) received during deployment to Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) or Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). Stress-related symptoms reported by service members with mTBI from explosive munitions are compared to symptoms reported by those with mTBI received from other mechanisms (i.e. falls, motor vehicle accidents).
Posttraumatic stress, as measured by scores on the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist (PCL-C), for a sample of 586 OIF/OEF service members with blast-related mTBI was compared to a sample of 138 OIF/OEF service members with non-blast mTBI selected from retrospective review of research records.
Re-experiencing symptoms such as flashbacks and nightmares were higher for the blast mTBI group than for the non-blast mTBI group. Symptoms on other PTSD clusters and total score did not significantly differ between groups. Equivalent proportions of the blast and non-blast groups endorsed severe PTSD symptoms, with total PCL-C scores greater than or equal to 50.
Consistent with prior reports, high levels of posttraumatic stress symptoms occur in a substantial proportion of service members who experienced deployment-related blast and non-blast mTBI. Results suggest that the psychological rehabilitation of OIF/OEF service members with mTBI from explosive blast should include particular attention to addressing re-experiencing symptoms.