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Relationship Between Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Postconcussive Symptom Improvement After Completion of a Posttraumatic Stress Disorder/Traumatic Brain Injury Residential Treatment Program
Research has demonstrated that veterans with a history of traumatic brain injury (TBI) may experience persistent symptoms following injury. These symptoms are frequently maintained or exacerbated by psychiatric symptoms, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Studies suggest that decreasing PTSD symptoms may also reduce postconcussive symptoms. This study examined whether (a) PTSD and postconcussive symptoms decreased over the course of residential PTSD/TBI treatment and (b) a reduction in PTSD symptoms was associated with a reduction in postconcussive symptoms. Twenty-eight veterans who met diagnostic criteria for PTSD and had a history of TBI were included in the study. Veterans received 8 weeks of treatment in a residential PTSD/TBI program and completed self-report measures of PTSD and postconcussive symptoms at pre- and posttreatment. Results indicated that PTSD and postconcussive symptoms significantly decreased over the course of treatment. Furthermore, the decreases in PTSD and postconcussive symptoms were significantly positively related. The reduction in PTSD symptoms is positively associated with a reduction in postconcussive symptoms following residential treatment in a PTSD/TBI program. These findings suggest that PTSD and postconcussive symptoms are interdependent and mutually influence one another.