Vets Returning From Middle East Conflicts Have Lower Employment Success If They Experienced a Traumatic Brain Injury
VETS RETURNING FROM MIDDLE EAST CONFLICTS HAVE LOWER EMPLOYMENT SUCCESS
IF THEY EXPERIENCED A TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY
WASINGTON, DC, JUNE 17, 2015 – In a study of military veterans who had experienced a deployment_related Traumatic Brain Injury (D_TBI), a research team led by James R. Couch, MD of the University of Oklahoma Medical School found that those veterans had a significantly lower rate of successful employment two to 11 years after experiencing the brain injury.
“In addition to the medical and headache aspects that TBI produces, we sought to determine if TBI produces psychosocial problems that may impair employment and marital relationships,” Dr. Couch said. Traumatic brain injury is regarded as the “signature injury” of those involved in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.
The team paired 67 veterans with deployment_related TBIs with matched controls without D_TBI. They found significant differences in employment status but no significant differences in marital status.
At two to seven years after suffering a D_TBI, 35.9% were unemployed compared with 10.3% of controls. At the 8_11 post_TBI mark, the margin widened considerably to 50% of TBIs vs 7.1% of controls. No significant differences were seen between D_TBIs and controls regarding marital status.
All study participants were veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts who entered Operation New Dawn (OND), a program for deployed veterans operated by the Veterans Administration. Of 5,743 veterans who joined OND, 1,325 had suffered a D_TBI.
The team’s findings were presented the 57th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Headache Society here this week.
The American Headache Society Annual Scientific Meeting draws about 1,000 headache and migraine researchers and treatment specialists from around the world to hear the latest scientific and clinical information on headache and migraine. This year’s program, “Drawing upon Headache Research,” is four days of teaching and scientific presentations.
ABOUT THE AMERICAN HEADACHE SOCIETY
The American Headache Society (AHS) is a professional society of health care providers dedicated to the study and treatment of headache and face pain. The Society’s objectives are to promote the exchange of information and ideas concerning the causes and treatments of headache and related painful disorders. Educating physicians, health professionals and the public and encouraging scientific research are the primary functions of this organization. AHS activities include an annual scientific meeting, a comprehensive headache symposium, regional symposia for neurologists and family practice physicians, and publication of the journal Headache. www.americanheadachesociety.org