Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 376-392

First online:

Managing Behavioral Health Needs of Veterans with Traumatic brain injury (TBI) in Primary Care

  • Paul R. KingAffiliated withCenter for Integrated Healthcare (116N), VA Western New York Healthcare System Email author 
  • , Laura O. WrayAffiliated withCenter for Integrated Healthcare (116N), VA Western New York Healthcare SystemDivision of Geriatrics/Gerontology, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, State University of New York/University at Buffalo

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Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a frequent occurrence in the United States, and has been given particular attention in the veteran population. Recent accounts have estimated TBI incidence rates as high as 20 % among US veterans who served in Afghanistan or Iraq, and many of these veterans experience a host of co-morbid concerns, including psychiatric complaints (such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder), sleep disturbance, and substance abuse which may warrant referral to behavioral health specialists working in primary care settings. This paper reviews many common behavioral health concerns co-morbid with TBI, and suggests areas in which behavioral health specialists may assess, intervene, and help to facilitate holistic patient care beyond the acute phase of injury. The primary focus is on sequelae common to mild and moderate TBI which may more readily present in primary care clinics.


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) Integrated primary care Veterans