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Intensive Outpatient Program Response among Service Members with Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: Change Between Distinct Post-Concussive Symptom Subgroups

Published:January 10, 2023DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apmr.2022.12.191

      Abstract

      Objective

      : Among service members (SMs) with mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) admitted to an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), we identified qualitatively distinct subgroups based on post-concussive symptoms (PCS) and characterized changes between subgroups from admission to discharge. Further, we examined whether co-morbid posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) influenced changes between subgroups.

      Design

      : Quasi-experimental. Latent transition analysis identified distinctive subgroups of SMs and examined transitions between subgroups from admission to discharge. Logistic regression examined the effect of PTSD on transition to the Minimal subgroup (low probability of any moderate-very severe PCS) while adjusting for admission subgroup designation.

      Setting

      : National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE) at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

      Participants

      : 1,141 active duty SMs with persistent PCS despite prior treatment.

      Interventions

      : NICoE 4-week interdisciplinary IOP.

      Main Outcome Measure(s)

      : Subgroups identified using Neurobehavioral Symptom Inventory items at admission and discharge.

      Results

      : Model fit indices supported a 7-class solution. The seven subgroups of SMs were distinguished by diverging patterns of probability for specific PCS. The Minimal subgroup was most prevalent at discharge (39.4%), followed by the Sleep subgroup (high probability of sleep problems, low probability of other PCS; 26.8%). 41% and 25% of SMs admitted within the Affective (i.e., predominantly affective PCS) and Sleep subgroups remained within the same group at discharge, respectively. The 19% of SMs with co-morbid PTSD were less likely to transition to the Minimal subgroup (odds ratio=0.28; p<.001) and were more likely to remain in their admission subgroup at discharge (35.5% with PTSD vs. 22.2% without).

      Conclusions

      : The majority of SMs achieved symptom resolution following participation in the IOP, with most transitioning to subgroups characterized by reduced symptom burden. SMs admitted in the Affective and Sleep subgroups, as well as those with PTSD, were most likely to have continuing clinical needs at discharge, revealing priority targets for resource allocation and follow-up treatment.

      Key words

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