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PTSD Veterans – Does One Treatment Fit All?

On January 30th, a study conducted by researchers at the New York University Grossman School of Medicine was published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA). The study summarized the findings of recently conducted clinical trials on the effectiveness of two main therapy approaches used by the Department of Defense (DoD) and Veterans Affairs (VA) to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in veterans. The “first-line” psychotherapies being evaluated were Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) and Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE).

In the trials conducted, approximately 31 percent to 50 percent of veterans or service members recovered or improved. However, even when PTSD symptoms were partially alleviated following treatment, the symptoms often persisted at high enough levels for the veteran to be diagnosed with PTSD.

The study stated that these new findings suggest that first-line psychotherapies do not effectively manage all military-related PTSD in veterans and do not outperform non–trauma-focused interventions. By non-trauma focused interventions, the study means approaches such as family therapy, group therapy, hypnosis, present-centered talk therapy, relaxation, and transcendental meditation, as opposed to CPT and PE, which requires veterans suffering from PTSD to focus on the traumatic event and discuss it at length.

The DoD and VA’s use of CPT and PE as a “one-size-fits-all” approach is simply not effective, according to the study’s conclusion.

It is estimated that 30 percent of all Vietnam veterans have suffered with PTSD symptoms at some point, while 11 to 20 percent of all post-9/11 veterans who experienced combat and 12 percent of Gulf War-era veterans will report having PTSD symptoms.

Veterans and service members with PTSD or other trauma-related injuries are urged to make a disability claim with the VA for this disorder and seek treatment, whether the veterans’ disability benefits were granted or denied.

The Wounded Warrior Project’s Warrior Care Network provides 70 hours of therapy during a 2-3 week program and has demonstrated results of symptom reduction, overall improvement in outcomes, and a completion rate of over 90%. Treatments such as CPT, EMDR, and PE can be effective treatments for many with traumatic military experiences, and veterans should know and ask about them.

Bush Institute’s Warrior Wellness Alliance has united 15 organizations around a single mission to connect veterans to high quality care when they need it and help them find high-quality care for PTSD that exists across the country.

The Injured Veterans legal team at Gordon & Partners is here for military veterans and their families. Please contact us immediately, if you are having difficulty with your claim or you are not receiving the disability benefits to which you are entitled. Call us at 1-888-231-9144 or fill out the form on this website.

Read the full story here: https://www.militarytimes.com/news/pentagon-congress/2020/02/04/va-dod-recommended-ptsd-therapies-dont-help-many-military-patients-review-finds/