Poster Abstracts


A significant proportion of combat veterans with self-reported histories of blast-related concussion (BRC) express a complex constellation of cognitive, physical, and emotional symptoms that may be challenging to conceptualize. Theoretically, subjective symptoms may extend from recurrent BRC itself, unresolved psychological dysfunction (e.g., somatization; posttraumatic stress [PTS]), or some combination of these factors. In the current study, 256 combat veterans with varied histories of self-reported BRC were administered the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory - 2 - Restructured Form (MMPI-2-RF) and each of the five MMPI-2-RF Somatic/Cognitive Specific Problem scales were used to establish a latent factor of somatization. PTS was assessed through use of the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS). A structured equation model (SEM) revealed that neither BRC nor lifetime history of non-blast-related concussion (NBRC) were directly associated with somatization. However, BRC was significantly associated with PTS (r = .26) and PTS was significantly associated with somatization (r = .64), suggesting that BRC was linked to somatization only indirectly, mediated by symptoms of PTS. Results suggest that clinical interventions directed to the treatment of PTS may be of simultaneous benefit to the non-specific cognitive and physical complaints that characterize somatization among combat veterans.

First AuthorNathaniel W Nelson
Second AuthorSeth G Disner
Third AuthorPaul A Arbisi
Fourth AuthorScott R Sponheim