Experiencing one traumatic brain injury increases a persons lifetime brain injury risk-partly because the person is often involved in an activity that puts him at an increased risk for brain injury in general, such as military combat or certain sports.
Each instance of traumatic brain injury makes a person more susceptible to increased damage and long-term complications. When assessing a person's readiness to return to sport or to combat, it is therefore important to account for their history of brain injury.
A new assessment tool was recently developed and tested to identify lifetime occurrence of traumatic brain injury. The Boston Assessment of TBI-Lifetime (BAT-L) is a semi-structured interview that evaluates for possible brain injury criteria, such as alterations in mental status, loss of consciousness, and potential injury exposure. The validity and accuracy of the tool was recently reported in a study of 131 veterans. The BAT-L not only captures information about the number of injuries, but also the nature and severity of those injuries-information that is useful for determining readiness, recovery, and potential disability.
Fortier CB, Amick M, Grande L, et al. The Boston Assessment of Traumatic Brain Injury-Lifetime (BAT-L) semistructured interview: Evidence of research utility and validity. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation. (February 2014).