OBJECTIVE: Report the prevalence of lifetime and military-related traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) veterans and validate the Boston Assessment of TBI-Lifetime (BAT-L). SETTING: The BAT-L is the first validated, postcombat, semistructured clinical interview to characterize head injuries and diagnose TBIs throughout the life span. PARTICIPANTS: Community-dwelling convenience sample of 131 OEF/OIF veterans. DESIGN: TBI criteria (alteration of mental status, posttraumatic amnesia, and loss of consciousness) were evaluated for all possible TBIs, including a novel evaluation of blast exposure. MAIN MEASURES: BAT-L, Ohio State University TBI Identification Method (OSU-TBI-ID). RESULTS: About 67% of veterans incurred a TBI in their lifetime. Almost 35% of veterans experienced at least 1 military-related TBI; all were mild in severity, 40% of them were due to blast, 50% were due to some other (ie, blunt) mechanism, and 10% were due to both types of injuries. Predeployment TBIs were frequent (45% of veterans). There was strong correspondence between the BAT-L and the OSU-TBI-ID (Cohen κ = 0.89; Kendall τ-b = 0.95). Interrater reliability of the BAT-L was strong (κs >0.80). CONCLUSIONS: The BAT-L is a valid instrument with which to assess TBI across a service members lifetime and captures the varied and complex nature of brain injuries across OEF/OIF veterans life span.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
- Clinical Neurology