Differences in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms Among Post-9/11 Veterans with Blast- and Non-Blast Mild Traumatic Brain Injury



The relationship between traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been difficult to disentangle, in part due to the commonality of incidents that can cause both conditions, as well as high rates of comorbidity between the two conditions. Inconsistent findings may be related to different study characteristics and types of mild TBI (mTBI) sustained (e.g., blast, non-blast). The objective of this study was to determine the association of blast- versus non-blast-related TBIs with long-term PTSD symptoms after controlling for demographic variables and trauma exposure. The sample included 230 post-9/11 veterans who experienced a blast-related mTBI (n = 29), non-blast mTBI (n = 74), combined blast and non-blast mTBI (n = 40), or no TBI (n = 87). As hypothesized, a between-groups analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) revealed that, after controlling for demographics, combat exposure, and prior trauma, PTSD symptoms among individuals with blast-related mTBI and combined blast and non-blast mTBI were significantly higher compared with non-blast-related mTBI and no TBI. These data suggest that blast-related mTBI is associated with more severe long-term PTSD symptoms. Copyright ©2019, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers


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Blast injuries, Brain Concussion, Post-traumatic stress disorder, Veterans, Risk assessment, Brain Injuries, Traumatic, Veterans


Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Rehabilitation Research and Development (RR&D) I01RX000304-01A1, I01RX000304- 01A4; VA Career Development Award-2 (1IK2CX000525-01A1).


©2019 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.