An Evaluation of the Veterans Affairs Traumatic Brain Injury Screening Process Among Operation Enduring Freedom and/or Operation Iraqi Freedom Veterans
AuthorsEvans, Charlesnika T.
St. Andrew, Justin R.
Pape, Theresa Louise-Bender
Stroupe, Kevin T.
Hogan, Timothy P.
Weaver, Frances M.
Smith, Bridget M.
UMass Chan AffiliationsDepartment of Quantitative Health Sciences
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AbstractOBJECTIVE: To describe the early results of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) screening program for traumatic brain injury (TBI) and to identify patient and facility characteristics associated with receiving a TBI screen and results of the screening. DESIGN: National retrospective cohort study. SETTING: VA Medical facilities. PATIENTS: A total of 170,681 Operation Enduring Freedom and/or Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) Veterans who sought care at VA medical facilities from April 2007 to September 30, 2008. METHODS: Data were abstracted from VA administrative and operational databases, including patient demographics, facility characteristics, and outcomes. MAIN OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS: The main outcomes were receipt of and results of the TBI screen. RESULTS: The majority of veterans eligible received the TBI screen (91.6%). Screening rates varied by patient and facility characteristics. In all, 25% of screened veterans had probable TBI exposure, in which the majority of the exposures were blasts (85.0%). The rate of a positive TBI screen was 20.5% for the screened cohort. Male gender, service in the army, multiple deployments, and mental health diagnoses in the previous year were associated with a positive screen. CONCLUSIONS: TBI screening rates are high in VA; concomitant mental health diagnoses were highly prevalent in individuals with positive TBI screens. These data indicate that there will be a significant need for long-term health care services for veterans with TBI symptomatology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
SourcePM R. 2013 Mar;5(3):210-20. doi: 10.1016/j.pmrj.2012.12.004. Epub 2013 Jan 29. Link to article on publisher's site
Permanent Link to this Itemhttp://hdl.handle.net/20.500.14038/46628
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