A new report from the Institute of Medicine examines the treatment needs of service members and veterans who have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and how certain comorbidities can affect treatment for PTSD.
The report's authors classify the conditions that are most likely to interfere with effective PTSD-specific treatments, and whose treatment should be integrated into a comprehensive treatment program for PTSD, into 3 categories: psychiatric; medical, which includes chronic pain, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and amputation; and psychosocial. They note that the "prevalence of co-occurring psychiatric and medical conditions and psychosocial issues differs among the varied cohorts and subpopulations of service members and veterans … and that the treatment needs of different groups will be different."
In addition, the report examines the effect of PTSD on long-term health outcomes, including cardiovascular disease, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, and diabetes mellitus.
Of the service members and veterans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan and screened positive for PTSD symptoms, about 40% have received a referral for additional evaluation or treatment, and of those referred, about 65% go on to receive treatment, the report says.
Earlier this year, APTA was invited by the Office of the First Lady to participate in the Joining Forces Initiative—a comprehensive national effort to mobilize all sectors of society to give the nation's service members and their families the opportunities and support they have earned. As a provider that specializes in treating injuries that affect a vast number of returning service members and veterans, APTA is uniquely positioned to help ensure its practitioners have the best, most up-to-date information on TBI, PTSD, and postcombat depression.
Read about APTA's commitment to the initiative, and access educational and advocacy resources on the management of wounded service members, on APTA's Joining Forces webpage.