Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

Health Services Research & Development

Go to the ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Increased Sleep Disturbances and Pain in Veterans With Comorbid Traumatic Brain Injury and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.

Balba NM, Elliott JE, Weymann KB, Opel RA, Duke JW, Oken BS, Morasco BJ, Heinricher MM, Lim MM. Increased Sleep Disturbances and Pain in Veterans With Comorbid Traumatic Brain Injury and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Journal of clinical sleep medicine : JCSM : official publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. 2018 Nov 15; 14(11):1865-1878.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information vaww.hsrd.research.va.gov/dimensions/

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions



Abstract:

STUDY OBJECTIVES: Veterans are at an increased risk for traumatic brain injury (TBI) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), both of which are associated with sleep disturbances and increased pain. Furthermore, sleep disturbances and pain are reciprocally related such that each can exacerbate the other. Although both TBI and PTSD are independently linked to sleep disturbances and pain, it remains unclear whether Veterans with comorbid TBI+PTSD show worse sleep disturbances and pain compared to those with only TBI or PTSD. We hypothesized that sleep and pain would be worse in Veterans with comorbid TBI+PTSD compared to Veterans with only TBI or PTSD. METHODS: Veterans (n = 639) from the VA Portland Health Care System completed overnight polysomnography and self-report questionnaires. Primary outcome variables were self-reported sleep disturbances and current pain intensity. Participants were categorized into four trauma-exposure groups: (1) neither: without TBI or PTSD (n = 383); (2) TBI: only TBI (n = 67); (3) PTSD: only PTSD (n = 126); and (4) TBI+PTSD: TBI and PTSD (n = 63). RESULTS: The PTSD and TBI+PTSD groups reported worse sleep compared to the TBI and neither groups. The TBI+PTSD group reported the greatest pain intensity compared to the other groups. CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest sleep and pain are worst in Veterans with TBI and PTSD, and that sleep is similarly impaired in Veterans with PTSD despite not having as much pain. Thus, although this is a complex relationship, these data suggest PTSD may be driving sleep disturbances, and the added effect of TBI in the comorbid group may be driving pain in this population.





Questions about the HSR&D website? Email the Web Team.

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.