Assessment of Cognitive-Communicative Disorders of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Sustained in Combat Abstract: Abstract  Background: Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is recognized as the signature injury of the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, yet there remains limited understanding of the persisting ... Article
Article  |   June 2009
Assessment of Cognitive-Communicative Disorders of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Sustained in Combat
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Christine Parrish
    Division of Speech Pathology, Department of Otolaryngology, Naval Medical Center, San Diego, CA
  • Carole Roth
    Division of Speech Pathology, Department of Otolaryngology, Naval Medical Center, San Diego, CA
  • Brooke Roberts
    Division of Speech Pathology, Department of Otolaryngology, Naval Medical Center, San Diego, CA
  • Gail Davie
    Division of Speech Pathology, Department of Otolaryngology, Naval Medical Center, San Diego, CA
  • The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Navy, Department of Defense, or the United States Government.
    The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Navy, Department of Defense, or the United States Government.×
  • © 2009 American Speech-Language-Hearing AssociationAmerican Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Article Information
Language Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Traumatic Brain Injury
Article   |   June 2009
Assessment of Cognitive-Communicative Disorders of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Sustained in Combat
SIG 2 Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, June 2009, Vol. 19, 47-57. doi:10.1044/nnsld19.2.47
SIG 2 Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, June 2009, Vol. 19, 47-57. doi:10.1044/nnsld19.2.47
Abstract:

Abstract  Background: Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is recognized as the signature injury of the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, yet there remains limited understanding of the persisting cognitive deficits of mTBI sustained in combat. Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) have traditionally been responsible for evaluating and treating the cognitive-communication disorders following severe brain injuries. The evaluation instruments historically used are insensitive to the subtle deficits found in individuals with mTBI.

Abstract  Objectives: Based on the limited literature and clinical evidence describing traditional and current tests for measuring cognitive-communication deficits (CCD) of TBI, the strengths and weaknesses of the instruments are discussed relative to their use with mTBI. It is necessary to understand the nature and severity of CCD associated with mTBI for treatment planning and goal setting. Yet, the complexity of mTBI sustained in combat, which often co-occurs with PTSD and other psychological health and physiological issues, creates a clinical challenge for speech-language pathologists worldwide. The purpose of the paper is to explore methods for substantiating the nature and severity of CCD described by service members returning from combat.

Abstract  Methods: To better understand the nature of the functional cognitive-communication deficits described by service members returning from combat, a patient questionnaire and a test protocol were designed and administered to over 200 patients. Preliminary impressions are described addressing the nature of the deficits and the challenges faced in differentiating the etiologies of the CCD.

Abstract  Conclusions: Speech-language pathologists are challenged with evaluating, diagnosing, and treating the cognitive-communication deficits of mTBI resulting from combat-related injuries. Assessments that are sensitive to the functional deficits of mTBI are recommended. An interdisciplinary rehabilitation model is essential for differentially diagnosing the consequences of mTBI, PTSD, and other psychological and physical health concerns.

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