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Reintegrating Troops with Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) into their Communities: Understanding the Scope and Timeline of Post-Deployment Driving Problems

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Technical Report,15 Sep 2008,31 Jul 2015

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University of Minnesota Minneapolis United States

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This study examined the carryover of combat driving behaviors and anxieties onto Service Members driving on American roads post-deployment to Operation Enduring FreedomOperation Iraqi FreedomOperation New Dawn OEFOIFOND using a drop-off or in place questionnaires. Subject sample did not allow comparison to those not deployed to those conflicts. Exploratory analyses were made across the four groups constituted by the responding 44 Service Members SMs nodiagnosis 0Dx n6, TBI n12, PTSD n7, and dual diagnosis TBIPTSD n19. Additional comparisons were made between 28 FamilyFriends matched to their SMs. Even in this small sample some trends were apparent SMs with TBIPTSD had significantly more combat driving behaviors and driving related anxieties when driving on US roads. SMs with TBI and TBIPTSD carried significantly more weapons in their personal vehicles and the two most commonly carried were also the most lethal i.e., gun and knife. Family and friends appear to be aware that driving behavior and driving related anxieties are part of their SMs driving, but also underestimate the severity of these issues. That, combined with SMs limited concern about their combat driving behaviors is likely to mean that SMs will not specifically seek driving assistance. Instead education on carryover driving and anxieties should be integrated into general clinical care of SMs with TBI or PTSD and into the educationof their FamilyFriends. Chief limitations were the studys protracted data collection, lack of subjects without deployment experience, and small sample size overall, allowing only tentative findings across groups although difference between 0Dx and diagnostic groups was consistent across questions.

Subject Categories:

  • Medicine and Medical Research
  • Psychology

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