Traumatic brain injury in veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan: Communication disorders stratified by severity of brain injury

Rocío S. Norman, Carlos A. Jaramillo, Megan Amuan, Margaret Ann Wells, Blessen C. Eapen, Mary Jo Pugh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To describe the prevalence of communication disorders in veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with traumatic brain injury (TBI). Design: Retrospective study of the prevalence of aphasia, fluency and voice disorders among veterans with different severity levels of TBI. Data was obtained from the VA National repository for OEF/OIF/OND veterans who received VA care in Fiscal Years 2010 and 2011. Results: Among the 303716 veterans in this study, 1848 were diagnosed with a communication disorder; 40% of these were also diagnosed with a TBI. Voice disorders were the most prevalent diagnosis (3.5 per 1000) followed by aphasia (1.9 per 1000) and fluency disorder (0.7 per 1000). Individuals with a TBI diagnosis were more likely to have a diagnosis of aphasia, followed by fluency and then voice disorder. The odds ratio (OR) of aphasia with TBI was 11.09-252.75 (95% CI=8.78-441.52, p<0.01). OR for fluency disorders with TBI was 3.58-10.41 (95% CI=2.56-42.40, p<0.01) and association of voice disorders with TBI was significant for all levels of TBI severity (OR=1.5-6.61, 95% CI=1.24-14.05, p<0.01). Conclusions: Veterans who sustained a TBI were more likely to have a diagnosis of a communication disorder, regardless of TBI severity. Those with TBI, including mild TBI, should be screened and evaluated for communication disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1623-1630
Number of pages8
JournalBrain Injury
Volume27
Issue number13-14
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013

Keywords

  • Aphasia
  • Epidemiology
  • Fluency disorder
  • TBI severity
  • Veterans Health Administration
  • Voice disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Neurology

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