Traumatic brain injury is a complex condition that can affect multiple aspects of physical, cognitive and behavioral functions. A wide range of medical specialties may be involved with the assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation of TBI patients, particularly in cases of severe TBI. These specialties can include, but are not limited to, audiology, ophthalmology, neurology, physical therapy, psychology, psychiatry, endocrinology, speech and language pathology and occupational therapy. Often, a multidisciplinary team is assembled to provide comprehensive care. In addition to specialty providers, primary care providers are integral in the identification and treatment of service members with TBI. The signs of traumatic brain injury are often difficult to recognize and easy to overlook after a traumatic event.
Health care providers can make a significant difference in the life of someone with TBI by working to understand the strategies which are used to identify and treat it. Service members and veterans with TBI are a unique population because they may have experienced circumstances that further complicate their clinical picture. These circumstances include multiple deployments, prolonged periods of stress, chronic pain, and separation from family and friends.