Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is referred to as the signature injury of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Given the prevalence of TBI in military personnel, there is a need for validated instruments tailored to accurately screen for TBI in this population.
Three hundred service members or veterans underwent a novel screen and a comprehensive diagnostic assessment to identify the occurrence of TBI and/or the presence of posttraumatic stress disorder. Negative predictive value, positive predictive value, sensitivity, and specificity were calculated.
This screening tool for TBI yielded sensitivity of 96%, specificity of 64%, negative predictive value of 95%, and positive predictive value of 69%.
The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago Military Traumatic Brain Injury Screening Instrument has a high negative predictive value and high sensitivity for TBI. This tool identifies individuals likely to have sustained a TBI. Moreover, it detects those who are likely not to have sustained such an injury and can be reassured in this regard. Because such distinction can be made with a high degree of accuracy in rapid and cost-effective fashion, it represents an important contribution to the armamentarium of TBI screening tools.