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J Rehabil Res Dev. 2013;50(3):327-40.

Needs and concerns of male combat Veterans with mild traumatic brain injury.

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  • 1VISN 11 VA Center for Applied Systems Engineering (VA-CASE), Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center, HSR&D Mail Code 11H, 1481 West 10th St, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA. Virginia.Daggett2@va.gov


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) has emerged as a major cause of morbidity among U.S. servicemembers who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Even mild TBI (mTBI) can result in cognitive impairments that can affect the community reintegration of Veterans postdeployment. The purpose of this study was to explore the needs and concerns of combat Veterans with mTBI to provide support for an mTBI-specific conceptual model (Conceptual Model in the Context of mTBI) derived from Ferrans et al.'s health-related quality of life model and the TBI literature. Content analysis of qualitative interview data was conducted using a thematic matrix with a predetermined code list. Data saturation was achieved after interviews with eight male Veterans. Six key categories and predominant themes emerged: cognitive impairments, physical symptoms, emotions and behaviors, instrumental activities of daily living, interpersonal interactions, and community reintegration. Findings provide preliminary support for a new, context-specific conceptual model that has the potential to identify areas for future interventions to enhance community reintegration of combat Veterans with mTBI.

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