Objective: Identify distinct symptom profiles among service members and examine unique traumas/injuries associated with these profiles. Method: 3,098 combat-deployed and non-deployed Florida National Guard members completed demographic and trauma/injury questionnaires, as well as the Neurobehavioral Symptom Inventory (NSI) and PTSD Checklist-Civilian Version (PCL-C). The NSI and PCL-C were subjected to a multiple-step cluster analytic process (i.e., Two-step, followed by Hierarchical and K-means). The two-step cluster analysis suggested either a two or three cluster solution. Hierarchical cluster analysis, using the Ward's method and the Pearson correlation as the proximity measure, was used to reexamine the number of clusters. The scree test suggested a two-cluster solution. Final cluster membership was determined by a K-means iterative partitioning using Euclidean distance. Results: “Distressed” and “Normal” subtypes were identified. Individuals in the “Normal” cluster (87.6%) endorsed low levels of all postconcussive and PTSD symptoms. The “Distressed” cluster (12.4%) was characterized by elevations on all subdomains of postconcussive and PTSD symptoms. Individuals in this cluster had highest elevations on the NSI Emotional and the PCL-C Arousal subscales. Deployment experiences associated with this cluster included: physical injury, TBI, high levels of combat, blast exposure, and current depression and anxiety. The “Distressed” profile was more common among females, as well as individuals who were separated/divorced. Higher levels of education were protective. Conclusion: Self-report on the NSI and PCL resulted in “Distressed” and “Normal” profiles. No particular traumatic experiences or injuries were associated with elevated symptom reporting, rather all traumatic experiences were associated with symptom elevations, as were current comorbid mental health comorbidities.
Symptom Profiles in the Florida National Guard: Postconcussive and PTSD Symptom Patterns
M Medeiros, R Vanderploeg, H Belanger, S Scott; B-21
Symptom Profiles in the Florida National Guard: Postconcussive and PTSD Symptom Patterns. Arch Clin Neuropsychol 2016; 31 (6): 620. doi: 10.1093/arclin/acw043.96
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