Veterans Exploratory Study

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Veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom (OIF/OEF) have high rates of unemployment and mental health disorders. In addition, traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a common injury among OIF/OEF veterans, often leading to cognitive impairments and post-concussive symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, fatigue, and difficulties with cognitive and functioning. TBI and comorbid psychiatric conditions such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) limit cognitive readiness for civilian employment and may lead to impaired job performance. These conditions all serve as potential barriers for OIF/OEF Veterans entering the workforce. The goal of this exploratory study is to determine which variables have the strongest relationships …show more content…

The most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics data show that among men aged 25-34, Gulf-War era II veterans (veterans who served after September 2001; OIF/OEF veterans) had a higher unemployment rate (6.8%) than did nonveterans (5.4%). This is significant because almost half of all Gulf-War era II veterans are between the ages of 25 and 34. Additionally, OIF/OEF Veterans have high rates of TBI and mental health disorders such as PTSD and depression. Of 289,328 OIF/OEF Veterans enrolled in Veterans Health Administration services from 2002 to 2008, 37 percent received mental health diagnoses, including 22 percent with PTSD, 17 percent with depression, and 10 percent with substance use disorders (Twamley et al. 2013) . TBI is the hallmark injury among OIF/OEF Veterans, with approximately 20% experiencing a mild TBI and 7% of returning Veterans experiencing persistent post-concussive symptoms (Hoge et al. 2008). The veteran population as a whole already faces challenges entering the workforce in comparison to their nonveteran counterparts. The veteran population with TBI and/or mental health conditions have additional …show more content…

(2014). CogSMART is a cognitive training intervention used to aid those with TBI histories and psychiatric disorders restore cognitive abilities and functional recovery. The sample is 50 veterans receiving health care at the VA San Diego Healthcare System. Subjects enrolled in the study and gave written informed consent prior to study participation. The inclusion criteria were: OIF/OEF veterans, history of mild to moderate TBI, documented impairment in at least one neuropsychological domain, and unemployed status. Neuropsychological domains assessed include attention, memory, language, motor skills, visuospatial skills, and executive functioning.

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