Characteristics and rehabilitation outcomes among patients with blast and other injuries sustained during the Global War on Terror.
ABSTRACT To describe characteristics and rehabilitation outcomes among patients who received inpatient rehabilitation for blast and other injuries sustained in Iraq and Afghanistan during the Global War on Terror.
Observational study based on chart review and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administrative data.
The 4 VA polytrauma rehabilitation centers (PRCs).
Service members (N=188) admitted to a PRC during the first 4 years of the Global War on Terror for injuries sustained during Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom.
Multidisciplinary comprehensive rehabilitation program.
Cognitive and motor FIM instrument gain scores and length of stay (LOS).
Most war-injured patients had traumatic brain injury, injuries to several other body systems and organs, and associated pain. Fifty-six percent had blast-related injuries, and the pattern of injuries was unique among those with injuries secondary to blasts. Soft tissue, eye, oral and maxillofacial, otologic, penetrating brain injuries, symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, and auditory impairments were more common in blast-injured patients than in those with war injuries of other etiologies. The mechanism of the injury did not predict functional outcomes. LOS was variable, particularly for those with blast injuries. Patients with low levels of independence at admissions made the most progress but remained more dependent at discharge compared with other PRC patients. The rate of gain was slower in this low-functioning group.
Blasts produce a unique constellation of injuries but do not make a unique contribution to functional gain scores. Findings underscore the need for assessment and treatment of pain and mental health problems among patients with polytrauma and blast-related injuries. Patients with polytrauma have lifelong needs, and future research should examine needs over time after community re-entry.
SourceAvailable from: Christina Dillahunt-Aspillaga[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The purpose of this pilot study is 1) to develop an annotation schema and a training set of annotated notes to support the future development of a natural language processing (NLP) system to automatically extract employment information, and 2) to determine if information about employment status, goals and work-related challenges reported by service members and Veterans with mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and post-deployment stress can be identified in the Electronic Health Record (EHR). Retrospective cohort study using data from selected progress notes stored in the EHR. Post-deployment Rehabilitation and Evaluation Program (PREP), an in-patient rehabilitation program for Veterans with TBI at the James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital in Tampa, Florida. Service members and Veterans with TBI who participated in the PREP program (N = 60). Documentation of employment status, goals, and work-related challenges reported by service members and recorded in the EHR. Two hundred notes were examined and unique vocational information was found indicating a variety of self-reported employment challenges. Current employment status and future vocational goals along with information about cognitive, physical, and behavioral symptoms that may affect return-to-work were extracted from the EHR. The annotation schema developed for this study provides an excellent tool upon which NLP studies can be developed. Information related to employment status and vocational history is stored in text notes in the EHR system. Information stored in text does not lend itself to easy extraction or summarization for research and rehabilitation planning purposes. Development of NLP systems to automatically extract text-based employment information provides data that may improve the understanding and measurement of employment in this important cohort.PLoS ONE 12/2014; 9(12):e115873. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0115873 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Limb injuries comprise 50-60% of U.S. Service member's casualties of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Combat-related vascular injuries are present in 12% of this cohort, a rate 5 times higher than in prior wars. Improvements in medical and surgical trauma care, including initial in-theatre limb salvage approaches (IILS) have resulted in improved survival and fewer amputations, however, the long-term outcomes such as morbidity, functional decline, and risk for late amputation of salvaged limbs using current process of care have not been studied. The long-term care of these injured warfighters poses a significant challenge to the Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VA Vascular Injury Study (VAVIS): VA-DoD Extremity Injury Outcomes Collaborative, funded by the VA, Health Services Research and Development Service, is a longitudinal cohort study of Veterans with vascular extremity injuries. Enrollment will begin April, 2015 and continue for 3 years. Individuals with a validated extremity vascular injury in the Department of Defense Trauma Registry will be contacted and will complete a set of validated demographic, social, behavioral, and functional status measures during interview and online/ mailed survey. Primary outcome measures will: 1) Compare injury, demographic and geospatial characteristics of patients with IILS and identify late vascular surgery related limb complications and health care utilization in Veterans receiving VA vs. non-VA care, 2) Characterize the preventive services received by individuals with vascular repair and related outcomes, and 3) Describe patient-reported functional outcomes in Veterans with traumatic vascular limb injuries. This study will provide key information about the current process of care for Active Duty Service members and Veterans with polytrauma/vascular injuries at risk for persistent morbidity and late amputation. The results of this study will be the first step for clinicians in VA and military settings to generate evidence-based treatment and care approaches to these injuries. It will identify areas where rehabilitation medicine and vascular specialty care or telehealth options are needed to allow for better planning, resource utilization, and improved DoD-to-VA care transitions.BMC Surgery 02/2015; 15(1):13. DOI:10.1186/1471-2482-15-13 · 1.24 Impact Factor