Objective: To examine the relationship between medical comorbidities and psychological health outcomes at 2 and 5 years following traumatic brain injury (TBI). Method: Veterans Affairs (VA) TBI Model System participants who completed a 2-year (n = 225) and/or 5-year (n = 283) follow-up with a comorbidities interview were included in the current study. Psychological health outcomes were assessed using the Patient Global Impression of Change (PGIC), Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), and Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS). While controlling for known predictors of outcome, the relationship of overall comorbidity burden to psychological outcomes was examined cross-sectionally using generalized linear regression at 2 and 5 years post-TBI. Lasso regularization was used to examine relationships of specific comorbid conditions to outcome. Results: Greater comorbidity burden was significantly associated with lower satisfaction with life at 2 and 5 years post-TBI and was associated with greater depressive symptomatology at 5 years post-TBI. Chronic pain was associated with lower satisfaction with life and greater depressive symptoms at both 2-and 5-year follow-up. Sleep apnea was associated with lower satisfaction with life and greater depressive symptoms at 5-year follow-up. Rheumatoid arthritis was associated with lower satisfaction with life and lower levels of perceived improvement in health and well-being at the 5-year follow-up. Implications: Results suggest that medical comorbidities may have a cumulative impact on adverse psychological health outcomes in chronic stages of TBI.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was sponsored by VHA Central Office VA TBI Model Systems Program of Research; Subcontract from General Dynamics Information Technology (W91YTZ-13-C-0015; HT0014-19-C-0004) from the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center and National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (Grant 90DPTB0016, PIs: Sherer and Angelle M. Sander; and 90DP0033, to William C. Walker). The authors report no conflicts of interest
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- Follow-up studies
- Mental health
- Traumatic brain injuries
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article