Assessment and Diagnosis of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, and Other Polytrauma Conditions: Burden of Adversity Hypothesis

  • Brenner L
  • Vanderploeg R
  • Terrio H
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OBJECTIVE/METHOD: Military personnel returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have been exposed to physical and emotional trauma. Challenges related to assessment and intervention for those with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and/or history of mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) with sequelae are discussed, with an emphasis on complicating factors if conditions are co-occurring. Existing literature regarding cumulative disadvantage is offered as a means of increasing understanding regarding the complex symptom patterns reported by those with a history of mild TBI with enduring symptoms and PTSD. IMPLICATIONS: The importance of early screening for both conditions is highlighted. In addition, the authors suggest that current best practices include treating symptoms regardless of etiology to decrease military personnel and veteran burden of adversity.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Operation Enduring Freedom
  • Operation Iraqi Freedom
  • polytrauma
  • posttraumatic stress disorder
  • traumatic brain injury
  • war

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