Characteristics of traumatic brain injuries sustained among veterans seeking homeless services

J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2015 Feb;26(1):92-105. doi: 10.1353/hpu.2015.0010.


This hypothesis-generating research describes the characteristics of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) sustained among 229 Veterans seeking homeless services. Nearly all participants (83%) had sustained at least one TBI prior to their first episode of homelessness. Among participants with a TBI, assaults, transportation-related accidents, and falls were the most common causes of these injuries. Thirty percent of individuals sustained injuries with severity levels that would be expected to be associated with ongoing TBI-related deficits. Forty-three percent of the Veterans sustained at least one brain injury following their first episode of homelessness. Median lifetime number of TBIs was three. The severity of TBIs was similar among Veterans who sustained injuries before or after their first incident of homelessness. Findings suggest that future research should directly examine the potential bi-directional relationship between TBI and homelessness, as well as the impact of TBI-related deficits on Veterans' ability to benefit from homeless services and/or maintain stable housing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brain Injuries, Traumatic / epidemiology*
  • Brain Injuries, Traumatic / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ill-Housed Persons*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Trauma Severity Indices
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Veterans*