Individuals with head injuries or who suffer from exposure to explosive blasts (such as first responders, accident victims, and combat troops) may experience mild to severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) that causes cognitive, behavioral, emotional, and physical problems. RAND conducts studies to assess the educational needs of TBI patients and their families and to identify and evaluate the effectiveness of government-sponsored programs designed to support TBI patients.
Research conducted by:
RAND National Security Research Division;
Military Health Policy Research
News Releases (4)
Private contractors who worked in Iraq, Afghanistan or other conflict environments over the past two years report suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and depression more often than military personnel who served in recent conflicts. Relatively few get help either before or after deployment.
Spouses, family members, and others who provide informal care to U.S. military members after they return home from conflict often toil long hours with little support, putting them at risk for physical, emotional, and financial harm.
Despite the recent drawdown in Iraq, the high operational tempo of the past decade that has included longer and more-frequent deployments has resulted in significant mental health problems among some service members. More than 200 programs are available to help treat psychological health and traumatic brain injury issues, but better coordination of those efforts is needed.
Nearly 20 percent of military service members who have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan — 300,000 in all — report symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder or major depression, yet only slightly more than half have sought treatment.