Understanding Treatment of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in the Military Health System.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is considered a signature injury of modern warfare, though TBIs can also result from training accidents, falls, sports, and motor vehicle accidents. Among service members diagnosed with a TBI, the majority of cases are mild TBIs (mTBIs), also known as concussions. Many of these service members receive care through the Military Health System, but the amount, type, and quality of care they receive has been largely unknown. A RAND study, the first to examine the mTBI care of a census of patients in the Military Health System, assessed the number and characteristics (including deployment history and history of TBI) of nondeployed, active-duty service members who received an mTBI diagnosis in 2012, the locations of their diagnoses and next health care visits, the types of care they received in the six months following their mTBI diagnosis, co-occurring conditions, and the duration of their treatment. While the majority of service members with mTBI recover quickly, the study further examined a subset of service members with mTBI who received care for longer than three months following their diagnosis. Diagnosing and treating mTBI can be especially challenging because of variations in symptoms and other factors. The research revealed inconsistencies in the diagnostic coding, as well as areas for improvement in coordinating care across providers and care settings. The results and recommendations provide a foundation to guide future clinical studies to improve the quality of care and subsequent outcomes for service members diagnosed with mTBI.
Published In/Presented At
Farmer, C. M., Krull, H., Concannon, T. W., Simmons, M., Pillemer, F., Ruder, T., Parker, A., Purohit, M. P., Hiatt, L., Batorsky, B. S., & Hepner, K. A. (2017). Understanding Treatment of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in the Military Health System. Rand health quarterly, 6(2), 11.
Medicine and Health Sciences
Department of Medicine