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Health services and rehabilitation for active duty service members and veterans with mild TBI.

Pogoda TK, Levy CE, Helmick K, Pugh MJ. Health services and rehabilitation for active duty service members and veterans with mild TBI. Brain injury. 2017 Jan 1; 31(9):1220-1234.

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OBJECTIVE: We review health services and reintegration practices that contribute to the rehabilitation of US active duty service members (ADSMs) and Veterans who experienced traumatic brain injury (TBI), especially mild TBI (mTBI), as discussed at the 2015 Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) TBI State-of-the-Art (SOTA) Conference. METHODOLOGY: We reviewed the state-of-the-art at the time of the previous 2008 TBI SOTA Conference, advances in the field since then, and future directions to address gaps in knowledge. MAIN RESULTS: We reviewed: (1) mTBI and its comorbid conditions documented in ADSMs and Veterans, and recognized the need for additional healthcare utilization, health cost and quality of care studies; (2) VA vocational rehabilitation programmes and the effectiveness of supported employment for helping those with workplace difficulties; (3) the application of technology to assist in TBI rehabilitation, including mobile device applications for self-management, videoconferencing with providers, and virtual reality to help with behavioural and cognitive challenges, and (4) Department of Defense (DoD)-VA partnerships on identification, evaluation and dissemination of TBI best practices. CONCLUSIONS: There have been significant advances in TBI rehabilitation, but multiple areas across the DoD and VA care continuum need further exploration and development to meet the needs of ADSMs and Veterans.

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