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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

BU Study Finds Severity of Traumatic Brain Injury Affects Veterans’ Employment

A high percentage of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who were evaluated at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and diagnosed with moderate to severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) suffer from at least one suspected psychiatric condition and are unemployed, a new study led by a Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) researcher shows.

The study, published in the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, found that veterans’ employment status was influenced by the severity of their deployment-related TBI. About 45 percent of those with moderate or severe TBI were unemployed, compared to about one-third of those with mild TBI or no TBI history. The researchers analyzed data from more than 11,000 veterans who completed a comprehensive TBI evaluation from the VA.

The research team — led by Dr. Terri K. Pogoda, a research assistant professor in health policy and management at BUSPH and a researcher with the VA Boston’s Center for Healthcare Organization and Implementation Research – said that the findings “underscore the need to investigate why unemployment rates are high among this cohort, and what assistance can be provided to address veterans’ multiple needs.

To learn more about the study, go to: