Abstract

Objective: The purpose of this study is to examine two depression subscales as predictors of executive function (EF) performance by using multiple regression analyses. Method: The present study utilizes data from 368 Marines and sailors from Camp Lejeune, NC with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and were referred to Carolina Psychological Health Services (CPHS) for neuropsychological evaluation. Individuals were administered a battery comprised of 14 neuropsychological tests which included 4 measures of EF: the Trail-Making Tests A &B, Stroop, Hayling-Brixton, and COWA. Depression subscales from the MMPI-2 and the Trauma Symptoms Inventory (TSI) were used as predictors. Individuals were excluded from the original 1, 056 sample collected by CPHS for: suboptimal scores ( < 45) on the Test of Memory Malingering (n = 156), unspecified demographic data (n = 165), and not having scores on all measures of EF and depression (n = 367). Results: Regression analyses found that the two depression subscales were significantly predictive of performance of Letter Fluency on the COWA Test (R2 = .054, F(2, 365) = 10.41, p < .000), Trail A (R2 = .070, F(2, 365) = 13.794, p < .000), Trail B (R2 = .043, F(2, 365) = 8.219, p < .000), Sensible Sentence Completion from the Hayling Test (R2 = .034, F(2, 365) = 6.415, p < .002), and the Color-Word Stroop task (R2 = .066, F(2, 365) = 12.822, p < .000). Conclusion(s): These results suggest depression plays a minor role in predicting EF performance of combat veterans with TBI. Long-term EF recovery of military personnel with TBI and depression needs clinical consideration and further research.

NEUROPSYCHOLOGICAL DOMAINS: OTHER