Category: Cross-Cutting; Brain Injury; Military and Veterans Affairs
A substantial research focus on mTBI in active military and veteran populations is on the psychological and functional outcomes of mTBI, a cohort that is almost entirely male (~95%). This may misrepresent female symptoms and outcomes. We address this gender gap by using 49 matched female/male pairs to determine the differences in symptom presentation and functional outcomes.
Matching was done based on 3 criteria; 1) mechanism of injury, 2) time from injury to assessment and 3) age at assessment. Statistical methods included t-tests, chi-square, correlations and logistic regression.
Setting : VA Palo Alto Polytrauma outpatient clinic
Participants (or Animals, Specimens, Cadavers) : n = 49 male and female veterans
Interventions : N/A
Main Outcome Measure(s) :
Neurobehavioral Symptom Inventory (NSI), Living Situation and Vocation
Only the cognitive NSI domain was significantly greater for females than males. Females have significantly higher odds of living alone compared to males (p=0.01). The NSI domain Somatic predicted a minimally greater risk for being unemployed.
Conclusions : We conclude that gender has marginal effect on demographic factors and common health issues and a moderate effect on mTBI post-concussive symptom presentation. NSI factors and education have minimal likelihood of predicting Living Alone or employments status. However, other factors, not identified here, related to being female may greatly increase the likelihood of poor living situation outcomes.
Maheen Adamson– Senior Scientific Research Director/Clinical Associate Professor, DVBIC, VA Palo Alto/Neurosurgery, Stanford School of Medicine, Palo Alto, California