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Associations between traumatic brain injury from intimate partner violence and future psychosocial health risks in women.
Iverson KM, Dardis CM, Grillo AR, Galovski TE, Pogoda TK. Associations between traumatic brain injury from intimate partner violence and future psychosocial health risks in women. Comprehensive psychiatry. 2019 Jul 1; 92:13-21.
The effects of traumatic brain injury (TBI) incurred during military service are widely studied; however, less is known about TBI resulting from intimate partner violence ("IPV-related TBI"). Women Veterans are at high risk for IPV, yet no research has examined future psychosocial health risks associated with IPV-related TBI history in this population.
We examined psychiatric and physical health outcomes, as well as IPV, in a sample of women Veterans who, at Time 1, reported IPV-related TBI with (n? = 13) or without (n? = 20) persistent symptoms; that is, symptoms such as memory problems, balance problems or dizziness, sensitivity to bright light, irritability, headaches, and sleep problems that began or got worse immediately following the IPV-related TBI and occurred within the past week. These women completed web-based surveys 18?months later (Time 2), which included validated measures of psychiatric and physical health symptoms as well as past-year IPV. We conducted linear regressions to model whether T1 IPV-related TBI with persistent symptoms predicted worse health outcomes at T2, in comparison to T1 IPV-related without persistent symptoms.
Controlling for significant covariates (i.e., military sexual trauma; MST), IPV-related TBI with persistent symptoms at Time 1 was associated with significantly worse outcomes at Time 2 across all health outcome domains (sr range: 0.12-0.37). After controlling for MST and probable posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at Time 1, IPV-related TBI with persistent symptoms at Time 1 remained significantly associated with worse Time 2 symptoms of insomnia, depression, and physical health (sr range: 0.12-0.25).
Women who experience IPV-related TBI with persistent symptoms are at higher risk for worse psychosocial health outcomes 18?months later. Findings necessitate screening IPV survivors for TBI with persistent symptoms and tailoring TBI and psychosocial interventions to reduce risk for ongoing health sequelae.