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Clinician's Trauma Update February 2010





CTU-Online, the Clinician's Trauma Update, is an electronic newsletter produced by the VA National Center for PTSD. CTU-Online provides summaries of clinically relevant publications in the trauma field with links to published abstracts or full text articles when available. For COMPLETE summaries, see this month’s CTU-Online PDF on our website http://www.ptsd.va.gov/about/subscribe.asp

Free issue of the Journal of Traumatic Stress:

Each year, Wiley-Blackwell makes the first issue of every journal it publishes available for free downloading. This year, the first issue of the Journal of Traumatic Stress contains a special issue on OEF/OIF Veterans that includes the Seal et al. and Chard et al. articles described below, along with others on a range of topics relevant to this cohort. Visit the Wiley site for access to these and the other articles. Access your free issue: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/109882595/home

This issue of CTU-Online contains 7 summaries:

OEF/OIF Veterans

1. Are OEF/OIF Veterans getting enough PTSD treatment? The answer to this question depends on another: compared to what? Investigators at the San Francisco VAMC recently reported that among OEF/OIF Veterans with a mental health diagnosis, those with PTSD were 63% more likely than those without PTSD to have at least 1 follow up visit in the year after being diagnosed. That’s good news for Veterans with PTSD. However, few Veterans in either group received an adequate amount of treatment. Read more…

Seal, K.H., Maguen, S., Cohen, B., Gima, K.S., Metzler, T.J., Ren, L., … Marmar, C.R. (2010). VA mental health services utilization in Iraq and Afghanistan veterans in the first year of receiving new mental health diagnoses. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 23, 5-16. PILOTS ID 83685.

2. OEF/OIF Veterans respond better than Vietnam Veterans to Cognitive Processing Therapy: A commonly held belief is that OEF/OIF Veterans are more responsive to treatment relative to other Veteran cohorts. It makes sense that treating PTSD soon after it develops would enhance the likelihood of recovery. Now, a new study conducted at the Cincinnati VA provides evidence that this seems to be the case. Read more…

Chard, K.M., Schumm, J.A., Owens, G.P., & Cottingham, S.M. (2010). Psychological consequences of the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan: A comparison of OEF and OIF veterans and Vietnam veterans receiving cognitive processing therapy. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 23, 25-32. PILOTS ID 83687.

3. Findings from a randomized clinical trial of Battlemind: The Army developed Battlemind as an early intervention protocol to facilitate adjustment following a combat deployment. It is widely used across the military, yet until recently, there were few conclusive data to demonstrate its efficacy. A study published late in 2009 by investigators from the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research shows that Battlemind is effective, but only for some Service Members. Read more…

Adler, A.B., Bliese, P.D., McGurk, D., Hoge, C.W., & Castro, C.A. (2009). Battlemind debriefing and Battlemind training as early interventions with soldiers returning from Iraq: Randomization by platoon. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 77, 928-940. PILOTS ID 33247.


4. Being diagnosed in a PTSD specialty clinic leads to better treatment: Over 300 PTSD specialty programs have been created in VAs across the country. But does receiving a PTSD diagnosis in a specialty clinic compared to other sectors result in increased likelihood of a Veteran receiving an adequate amount of treatment? Findings from a recent VA investigation suggest yes. Read more…

Spoont, M.R., Murdoch, M., Hodges, J., & Nugent, S. (2010). Treatment receipt by veterans after a PTSD diagnosis in PTSD, mental health, or general medical clinics. Psychiatric Services, 61, 58-63. PILOTS ID 33766.

5. Pilot study shows mixed outcomes for virtual reality exposure therapy in older Veterans: Virtual reality exposure therapy has received recent attention as a potential treatment alternative for anxiety disorders and PTSD. Some think that virtual reality might have benefits over imaginal and in vivo exposure by inducing higher levels of immersion into the exposure exercise and more efficient activation of a patient’s fear structure. Investigators in Portugal recently randomized 10 Veterans with chronic PTSD (average age 63 years) to virtual reality exposure therapy, imaginal exposure, or a waitlist control. Read more…

Gamito, P., Oliveira, J., Rosa, P., Morais, D., Duarte, N., Oliveira, S., & Saraiva, T. (2010). PTSD elderly war veterans: A clinical controlled pilot study. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 13, 43-48. PILOTS ID 33784.

6. Therapists do not always use the PTSD treatments they find most credible: Researchers in the Netherlands asked 255 expert trauma therapists about their use of four treatments for PTSD (imaginal exposure, EMDR, medication, and supportive counseling), along with perceptions of the treatments’ credibility and perceived barriers to use. The investigators also presented video vignettes of PTSD patients. Read more…

van Minnen, A., Hendricks, L., & Olff, M. (2010). When do trauma experts choose exposure therapy for PTSD patients? A controlled study of therapist and patient factors. Behaviour Research and Therapy. Published online ahead of print, Jan. 5. PILOTS ID 33786.

Family Members

7. Extended deployments increase mental health illnesses for army wives: Researchers recently conducted a study comparing the mental health of wives of husbands who had been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan with wives whose husbands had not been deployed. The researchers analyzed the electronic medical records of 250,626 wives who were seen for outpatient medical visits between the years of 2003-2006. Read more…

Mansfield, A.J., Kaufman, J.S., Marshall, S.W., Gaynes, B.N., Morrissey, J.P., & Engel, C.C. (2010). Deployment and the use of mental health services among U.S. Army wives. New England Journal of Medicine, 362, 101-109.

Tell a friend about CTU - Online Subscribe at: http://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/newsle.../ctu-online.asp




The National Center for PTSD wants you to stay informed about the latest information and new products on trauma and PTSD. http://www.ptsd.va.gov/about/subscribe.asp

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Thanks a bunch.


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Thanks a bunch.





You're welcome Carlie. I used to visit NCPTSD more often; it's good to know how the VA spends it's research money. And, try as I may, I have never found anything especially useful in the Pilots database search function. Maybe I'm not trying hard enough, maybe the true costs will always be hidden ... Be well. ~Wings

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