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Clinical Factors Associated with Neuropsychological Test Performance in Veterans with Blast Exposure History and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptomatology

25 May 2018


Objective: The principal aim of the present study was to investigate the impact of sleep disturbance and chronic pain on neuropsychological test performance on veterans with a history of blast exposure and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms.

Methods: Hierarchical multiple regression models were conducted to examine the influence of sleep and pain on neuropsychological test performance in 87 Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) veterans after controlling for history of combat blast-exposure and self-reported PTSD symptoms.

Results: Neuropsychological test results demonstrated that sleep disturbance accounted for a statistically significant additional 5% of variance beyond blast exposure history and PTSD symptom severity for one measure of executive functioning. Chronic pain accounted for no significant additional variance on cognitive measures.

Conclusions: Findings did not support the hypotheses that sleep disturbance and chronic pain would explain additional clinically significant variance in neuropsychological test performance after controlling for blast exposure and PTSD symptom severity. Although the 5% of variance sleep disturbance accounted for in a measure of executive functioning was statistically significant, the finding was not clinically meaningful as neuropsychological test scores were in the average range.


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