Objective: Attentional deficits are a common sequelae of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Assessment of these attentional deficits in TBI may be influenced by the presence of psychological distress, particularly Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptomatology. This study examined the relationship between performance on neurocognitive measures of attention and self-reported PTSD symptomatology in military veterans and civilians with post-acute TBI. Method: As part of a larger investigation, measures of neurocognitive and psychological functioning, including the Conner's Continuous Performance Test – 2nd Edition (CPT-II), Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS), and PTSD Checklist-Civilian Version (PCL-C), were administered to 54 military veteran (V-TBI) and 52 civilian (C-TBI) participants. Results: Multivariate analyses revealed a V-TBI versus C-TBI group effect on five of seven CPT-II variables (Λ = .83, F = 2.80, p = .011), with the V-TBI group exhibiting greater impairment. Additional analyses revealed group differences on the PCL-C and the RBANS Attention Index, with V-TBI participants exhibiting greater PTSD symptomatology and lower Attention Index scores. Notably, after controlling for PTSD symptom severity with a multiple analysis of covariance (MANCOVA), group differences on the RBANS Attention Index were no longer significant. Conversely, a MANCOVA on the CPT-II still revealed a main effect on CPT-II performance (Λ = .87, p< .05). Conclusion: Given that PTSD symptomatology likely contributed to neurocognitive difficulties in a V-TBI population, these findings suggest that the CPT-II demonstrates utility in detecting attentional difficulties among military veterans with PTSD symptomatology. Additional research with the CPT-II in military and civilian TBI populations is recommended.
Examining Attentional Functioning in Military Veterans and Civilians with Traumatic Brain Injury: The Influence of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptomatology
K Zane, Z Merz, N Emmert, J Gfeller; A-73
Examining Attentional Functioning in Military Veterans and Civilians with Traumatic Brain Injury: The Influence of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptomatology. Arch Clin Neuropsychol 2015; 30 (6): 512. doi: 10.1093/arclin/acv047.73
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