Traumatic Brain Injury, Sleep, and Mental Health: A Longitudinal Study of Air Force Personnel Pre- and Postdeployment to Iraq

Jessica L. Holster, Craig J. Bryan, Elizabeth A. Heron, Robert A. Seegmiller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:: We investigated the complex relationships between traumatic brain injury (TBI), sleep, and mental health problems longitudinally among US service members (SMs) pre- and postdeployment to Iraq. PARTICIPANTS:: One hundred sixty-eight SMs enrolled in a 4-week Air Force Basic Combat Convoy Course predeployment. DESIGN:: Self-report data were collected at the beginning and end of training and then at 1, 3, 6, and 12 months postdeployment. Regression analyses were implemented, and participants were categorized into 4 groups based on TBI history for further statistical analysis. RESULTS:: Positive TBI history was associated with greater symptoms of insomnia and posttraumatic stress predeployment and persistence of insomnia symptoms, posttraumatic stress, and depression postdeployment. Positive TBI history and posttraumatic stress served as risk factors for head injury in Iraq, and SMs who reported a head injury during deployment also endorsed greater posttraumatic stress postdeployment than those without head injury. SMs with positive TBI history who also reported a new TBI in Iraq endorsed the greatest sleep and mental health problems across the study period. CONCLUSIONS:: This study provides valuable information regarding temporal relationships between TBI, sleep, and mental health problems among a combat military population. Findings have important implications from both prevention and clinical perspectives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Apr 26 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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