Development of a measure to inform return-to-duty decision making after mild traumatic brain injury

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Military Medicine








Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), a principal injury of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, can result in significant morbidity. To make accurate return-to-duty decisions for soldiers with mTBI, military medical personnel require sensitive, objective, and duty-relevant data to characterize subtle cognitive and sensorimotor injury sequelae. A military-civilian research team reviewed existing literature and obtained input from stakeholders, end users, and experts to specify the concept and develop a preliminary assessment protocol to address this need. Results of the literature review suggested the potential utility of a test based on dual-task and multitask assessment methods. Thirty-three individuals representing a variety of military and civilian stakeholders/experts participated in interviews. Interview data suggested that reliability/validity, clinical feasibility, usability across treatment facilities, military face validity, and capacity to challenge mission-critical mTBI vulnerabilities were important to ultimate adoption. The research team developed the Assessment of Military Multitasking Performance, a tool composed of eight dual and multitasking testtasks. A concept test session with 10 subjects indicated preliminary face validity and informed modifications to scoring and design. Further validation is needed. The Assessment of Military Multitasking Performance may fill a gap identified by stakeholders for complex cognitive/motor testing to assist return-to-duty decisions for service members with mTBI. © Association of Military Surgeons of the U.S. All rights reserved.

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