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San Antonio Hospitals Team for Military PTSD Study

Discussion in 'News, Politics & Debates' started by anthony, Oct 12, 2006.

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  1. anthony

    anthony Silently Watching Founder

    A proposed pilot investigation linking three of San Antonio's military research hubs is slated to treat and study servicemembers with symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

    The Prolonged Exposure for Combat-Related Stress Disorders study links Wilford Hall Medical Center, Brooke Army Medical Center and the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio in a collaborative effort to evaluate the effectiveness of the Prolonged Exposure, or PE, treatment technique for servicemembers who experience combat-related stress disorders while deployed to Iraq in 2007.

    The proposed investigation will also look closely at servicemembers in the San Antonio area who experience these symptoms after returning from a deployment.

    "This new treatment approach has the potential to prevent chronic PTSD in active-duty military members if used as an early intervention for troops treated in Iraq or for those treated soon after they return from a deployment," said Dr. Alan Peterson, UTHSCSA Department of Psychiatry professor.

    The PE treatment approach has been used primarily in controlled studies with noncombat- related PTSD cases, such as motor vehicle accidents and sexual assaults. It is a goal of the Air Force Surgeon General's Office, which funded the study through the Community of Behavior Health Division, to have two models by 2007 that are used to treat combat-related stress disorders, starting first with the implementation of PE with this study.

    According to a journal article co-authored by Lt. Col. (Dr.) Jeffrey Cigrang, 59th Medical Operations Squadron director of operations, exposure therapy may be especially effective for helping to prevent PTSD because it directly counters the natural reaction to avoid internal and external reminders of a traumatic event.

    "A simple way to understand the PE technique is to view it as having a patient with a package of combat stress related symptoms revisit their traumatic experience over and over. It takes the emotional sting out of it," said Lt. Col. Rick Campise, Air Force Medical Operations Agency Community Behavior Health Division chief.

    The study hopes to enroll around 60 participants over the next 12 months. The primary recruitment sites will be Wilford Hall, Brooke Army Medical Center and Air Force Mental Health professionals deploying to Iraq in 2007. Providers from other locations who received training for the study and have obtained Institutional Review Board approval will also serve as recruitment sites.

    "The Air Force is leading the Department of Defense in training active duty providers in evidence-based treatment approaches for combat-related stress disorders for active-duty military members," said Dr. Peterson.

    The Air Force Surgeon General's office already funded two workshops in San Antonio that trained nearly 150 mental health professionals Sept. 16 to 18 and Sept. 24 to 26 on the objectives with PE treatment.

    A 2006 Journal of the American Medical Association study shows that 9.8 percent of servicemembers returning from Iraq have screened positive for PTSD symptoms and 11.9 percent were diagnosed with a mental disorder within the first year home.

    "This study will be reassuring for everyone and it will create a common way to conceptualize and treat patients dealing with PTSD. The goal is to make sure the symptoms are treated as soon as our servicemembers get home," said Colonel Campise.

    Source: Newsblaze
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