Volume 53 Number 5, 2016
Pages 541 — 550
Abstract — Approximately 20% of current-era Veterans have sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI), which can result in persistent postconcussive symptoms. These symptoms may disrupt family and social functioning. We explored psychiatric, postconcussive, and cognitive factors as correlates of objective functioning and subjective satisfaction in family and social relationships. At entry into a supported employment study, 50 unemployed Veterans with a history of mild to moderate TBI and current cognitive impairment were administered baseline assessments. Multivariate stepwise regressions determined that higher levels of depressive symptomatology were strongly associated with less frequent social contact, as well as lower subjective satisfaction with family and social relationships. Worse verbal fluency predicted less frequent social contact, whereas worse processing speed and switching predicted higher levels of subjective satisfaction with family relationships. The pattern of results remained similar when examining those Veterans with only mild TBI. Depressive symptoms and cognitive functioning may affect Veterans' social contact and satisfaction with family and social relationships. Evidence-based interventions addressing depression and cognition may therefore aid in improving community reintegration and satisfaction with social and family relationships.
Key Words: cognitive performance, community reintegration, depression, family contacts, postconcussive symptoms, quality of life, social relationships, social satisfaction, traumatic brain injury, Veterans.
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Last Reviewed or Updated Thursday, November 3, 2016 9:47 AM