Background: 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.
Methods: 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.
Results: This screening tool for TBI yielded sensitivity of 96%, specificity of 64%, negative predictive value of 95%, and positive predictive value of 69%.
Conclusion: 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.
Memory and Cognitive Disorders Program, Department of Neurology, NorthShore University Health System, Glenview, Illinois (Dr Zollman); Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois (Mss Starr and Kondiles and Dr Larson); Rehabilitation Services, National Intrepid Center of Excellence, Bethesda, Maryland (Dr Cyborski); and Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois (Dr Larson).
Corresponding Author: Felise S. Zollman, MD, Memory and Cognitive Disorders Program, Department of Neurology, NorthShore University Health System, 2180 Pfingston Rd, Glenview, IL 60026 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
This study was funded by grants from the Robert M. McCormick Tribune Foundation, the Julius N. Frankel Foundation, the Joseph G. Nicholas Foundation, and the Barker Welfare Foundation.
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The authors declare no conflicts of interest.