Research Reports - Factors associated with alcohol-related problems following traumatic brain injury

Rehabil Psychol. 2014 Nov;59(4):453-8

Reslan S(1), Hanks RA(2)

PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE: Postinjury alcohol use is a common problem within the
traumatic brain injury (TBI) population. Given the association between heavy
drinking and the development of alcohol-related consequences, we attempted to
understand the contribution of postinjury coping strategies and other risk
factors to alcohol-related problems following moderate to severe TBI.
RESEARCH METHOD/DESIGN: Participants were enrolled in a longitudinal study and
followed up to 15 years following TBI; only persons with moderate to severe TBI
(N = 278) were recruited. Participants completed questionnaires assessing
preinjury alcohol use, demographic variables, postinjury alcohol-related problems
(Short Michigan Alcohol Screening Test; SMAST; Selzer, Vinokus, & Van Rooijan,
1975), and postinjury coping strategies (Coping Inventory for Stressful
Situations; CISS; Endler & Parker, 1990). Only those who completed the SMAST were
included in this investigation.
RESULTS: The overall regression model, with time to follow commands, age at the
time of TBI, education, time since injury, and task-oriented coping style, was
statistically significant. After accounting for other factors, specific
postinjury coping strategies were not associated with post-TBI alcohol-related
problems. Time to follow commands, education, and time since injury independently
explained a unique portion of the variance in SMAST score. A second multiple
regression analysis was conducted for a subset of the sample that provided
information about premorbid binge drinking (n = 95). The overall model was not
significant, likely due to the reduced power to detect an effect, but premorbid
binge drinking explained 4% of the variance in SMAST scores.
CONCLUSION/IMPLICATIONS: Injury severity, education, and time since injury should
be assessed, and at-risk patients should be informed of the consequences of
alcohol use among those with TBI. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all
rights reserved).

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