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Larsen SE, Larson ER, Hunt JC, Lorber WG, deRoon-Cassini TA. Mil. Med. 2019; ePub(ePub): ePub.


Department of Surgery, Division of Trauma & Critical Care, Medical College of Wisconsin, 9200 W, Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53226.


(Copyright © 2019, Association of Military Surgeons of the United States)






INTRODUCTION: Symptoms of postconcussive syndrome (PCS) after mild TBI (mTBI) have been shown to resolve quickly, yet new research raises questions about possible long-term effects of this condition. It is not clear how best to address assessment and treatment when someone reports lingering symptoms of PCS. One self-report measure used by the VA and the DoD is the Neurobehavioral Symptom Inventory (NSI), but this measure may be affected by underlying psychiatric symptoms. We investigated whether the NSI is sensitive to mTBI after considering a number of psychiatric and demographic factors.

METHODS: This study examined which factors are associated with NSI scores in a Veteran sample (n = 741) that had recently returned from deployment.

RESULTS: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression accounted for most of the variance on the NSI. Although history of mTBI was initially related to NSI, this association was no longer significant after other covariates were considered.

CONCLUSIONS: The NSI score was primarily explained by symptoms of PTSD and depression, suggesting that the NSI is not specific to the experience of a brain injury. We recommend cautious interpretation when this measure is used in the chronic phase after mTBI, especially among patients with comorbid depression or PTSD.

© Association of Military Surgeons of the United States 2019. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail:

Language: en


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