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Posttraumatic Stress Disorder-Associated Cognitive Deficits on the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status in a Veteran Population.
Hantke N, Adamson MM, Noda A, Lazzeroni LC, Beaudreau SA, Yutsis M, Fairchild JK, Kinoshita LM, Kong J, Sheng T, Waltzman D, Ashford JW, Yesavage JA. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder-Associated Cognitive Deficits on the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status in a Veteran Population. Federal practitioner : for the health care professionals of the VA, DoD, and PHS. 2021 Jan 1; 38(1):28-34.
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a frequent problem of veterans receiving care and is often associated with cognitive deficits. The Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS) is a well-validated cognitive screening measure often used in the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), particularly in neurorehabilitation settings. However, the influence of PTSD on RBANS performance is unclear, particularly within a heterogeneous VA outpatient population in which PTSD and traumatic brain injury (TBI) may not be the primary focus of care.
Participants included 153 veterans with complex deployment-related health problems, including a diagnosis of PTSD (n = 98) and a history of TBI (n = 92). All veterans completed a targeted cognitive battery that included the Wechsler Test of Adult Reading, the Wechsler Adults Intelligence Scale, measure assessing processing speed, attention, and cognitive flexibility, and RBANS.
A diagnosis of PTSD was associated with worse performance on the Story Recall subtest of the RBANS, but not on any other cognitive measures. A diagnosis of mild TBI, or co-occurring PTSD and TBI did not predict cognitive performance on any measures.
The RBANS best captured cognitive deficits associated with PTSD compared with a history of mild TBI or co-occurring mild TBI and PTSD. These findings may provide insight into the interpretation and attribution of cognitive deficits in the veteran population.