Managing Behavioral Health Needs of Veterans with Traumatic brain injury (TBI) in Primary Care

Center for Integrated Healthcare (116N), VA Western New York Healthcare System, 3495 Bailey Ave., Buffalo, NY, 14215, USA, .
Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings (Impact Factor: 1.49). 11/2012; 19(4). DOI: 10.1007/s10880-012-9345-9
Source: PubMed


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a frequent occurrence in the United States, and has been given particular attention in the veteran population. Recent accounts have estimated TBI incidence rates as high as 20 % among US veterans who served in Afghanistan or Iraq, and many of these veterans experience a host of co-morbid concerns, including psychiatric complaints (such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder), sleep disturbance, and substance abuse which may warrant referral to behavioral health specialists working in primary care settings. This paper reviews many common behavioral health concerns co-morbid with TBI, and suggests areas in which behavioral health specialists may assess, intervene, and help to facilitate holistic patient care beyond the acute phase of injury. The primary focus is on sequelae common to mild and moderate TBI which may more readily present in primary care clinics.

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    • "While most victims of mild TBI recover fully, moderate and severe TBI often result in persisting deficits such as difficulties in coordination and poor muscle strength as well as cognitive problems including memory loss, impaired information processing, perceptual skills, and communication deficits (Sayer, 2012). Furthermore , the diagnosis of TBI in military personnel and veterans is often complicated by comorbidities such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders (King & Wray, 2012). Many individuals affected by TBI will require some form of assistance or supervision for daily living (Brain Injury Association of America, 2012). "
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