Traumatic Brain Injury: Advances in TBI Evaluations

Sgt. Eric Mattos, D Company, 1st Battaltion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, calls back to three other soldiers taking part in the final day of the Military Functional Assessment Program at Fort Campbell. (Photo by Nondice Thurman, Fort Campbell Courier)

Pen and paper tests or computer assessments are currently how most soldiers get checked for possible Traumatic Brain Injury or TBI. But, a more comprehensive TBI assessment is being used at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

Soldiers are tested in simulated combat-situations, timed on their decision-making and observed on camera. An expert non-commissioned officer then helps evaluate if the soldier is able to perform tasks to established Army standards.

Kathy Helmick, deputy director for traumatic brain injury for the Defense Centers of Excellence, wrote about Fort Campbell’s advanced TBI assessment program which is part of a 12-week program that treats soldiers with TBI.

I was also impressed with how this program focused on function; instead of clicking a dot on a computer test or circling a multiple choice question, service members with TBI are put in an environment to test their performance and capabilities. Some service members may perform well in a controlled rehabilitation environment, but may not be able to perform as well when multitasking during a high-pressure combat scenario. It was clear that the service members appreciated this type of evaluation and gained more confidence, whether they transitioned back to duty, or out of the military into civilian life.

You can read the full article HERE. Additional information on Traumatic Brain Injury is available on the DCoE website.

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