Master of Science
Department or Program
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a disability that affects many different people in many different ways. The impact the TBI has on a person’s life varies considerably based on the severity of the injury and other psychosocial factors. TBI is one of the disabilities that can and does affect people from all cultures, all age groups, and all socioeconomic groups. It is also known to some as the “invisible disability” because it can present with no obvious visible manifestations and also because the nature of the disability can impact the individual with the TBI’s ability to fully understand their own disability. Recently, the US military has begun seeing an increase in the prevalence of TBI within its service members. This increase has been attributed to the type of weapons and conditions that the US military is routinely facing as well as changes in medical care for service members which makes it more likely that they will survive what, in the past, would have been a fatal injury. Brain injuries in the military create some issues that are unique to its ranks such as adjustment to civilian life, reintegration into the family unit, and others. The diagnosis and treatment of TBI has caused some unique challenges for the U.S. government; and as a result has led to the development of a new system of medical care. The military, the Department of Defense, and the US government as a whole have responded to this need by creating several new organizations, as well as passing new legislation. This paper will take a look at these issues.