A prediction model of military combat and training exposures on VA service-connected disability: a CENC study

B. Eggleston, C. E. Dismuke-Greer, T. K. Pogoda, J. H. Denning, B. C. Eapen, K. F. Carlson, S. Bhatnagar, R. Nakase-Richardson, M. Troyanskaya, T. Nolen, W. C. Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Research has shown that number of and blast-related Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) are associated with higher levels of service-connected disability (SCD) among US veterans. This study builds and tests a prediction model of SCD based on combat and training exposures experienced during active military service. Methods: Based on 492 US service member and veteran data collected at four Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) sites, traditional and Machine Learning algorithms were used to identify a best set of predictors and model type for predicting %SCD ≥50, the cut-point that allows for veteran access to 0% co-pay for VA health-care services. Results: The final model of predicting %SCD ≥50 in veterans revealed that the best blast/injury exposure-related predictors while deployed or non-deployed were: 1) number of controlled detonations experienced, 2) total number of blast exposures (including controlled and uncontrolled), and 3) the total number of uncontrolled blast and impact exposures. Conclusions and Relevance: We found that the highest blast/injury exposure predictor of %SCD ≥50 was number of controlled detonations, followed by total blasts, controlled or uncontrolled, and occurring in deployment or non-deployment settings. Further research confirming repetitive controlled blast exposure as a mechanism of chronic brain insult should be considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1602-1614
Number of pages13
JournalBrain Injury
Issue number13-14
StatePublished - Dec 6 2019


  • Prediction
  • concussion and traumatic brain injury
  • disability
  • military
  • potential concussive event
  • veteran

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Neurology


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