Back to Top Skip to main content

Prevalence of mental health conditions after military blast exposure, their co-occurrence, and their relation to mild traumatic brain injury.

Publication Status: Published

Sponsoring Organization: Defense Health Agency (formerly TRICARE Management Activity)

Sponsoring Office: Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center

Congressionally Mandated: No

Funding Source: Undetermined

Release Date/Publication: December 01, 2015

Principle Investigator Status: Academia

Primary DoD Data Source: Other Survey

Secondary DoD Data Source:

Abstract

PRIMARY OBJECTIVES:
To measure common psychiatric conditions after military deployment with blast exposure and test relationships to post-concussion syndrome (PCS) symptoms and mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) history.

RESEARCH DESIGN:
Cross-sectional.

METHODS AND PROCEDURES:
Service members or Veterans (n = 107) within 2 years of blast exposure underwent structured interviews for mTBI, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and multiple mood and anxiety diagnoses.

MAIN OUTCOMES AND RESULTS:
MTBI history and active PTSD were both common, additionally 61% had at least one post-deployment mood or anxiety disorder episode. Psychiatric diagnoses had a high degree of comorbidity. Most dramatically, depression was 43-times (95% CI = 11-165) more likely if an individual had PTSD. PCS symptoms were greater in those with post-deployment PTSD or mood diagnosis. However, neither mTBI nor blast exposure history had an effect on the odds of having PTSD, mood or anxiety condition.

CONCLUSIONS:
These findings support that psychiatric conditions beyond PTSD are common after military combat deployment with blast exposure. They also highlight the non-specificity of post-concussion type symptoms. While some researchers have implicated mTBI history as a contributor to post-deployment mental health conditions, no clear association was found. This may partly be due to the more rigorous method of retrospective mTBI diagnosis determination.

Citation:

Walker WC, Franke LM, McDonald SD, Sima AP, Keyser-Marcus L. Prevalence of mental health conditions after military blast exposure, their co-occurrence, and their relation to mild traumatic brain injury. Brain Inj. 2015 Dec;29(13-14):1581-8.

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.