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Benefits of PTSD treatment going unmeasured, says Institute of Medicine Report
Date:6/20/2014

OD and VA enlist a workforce of mental health care providers to meet the growing need for PTSD treatment. While the departments have substantially increased mental health staffing, these increases do not appear to have kept pace with the demand.

The most surprising outcome over four years of deliberation, according to Dr. Galea, is the dissonance between the intention of senior leadership and how a PTSD management system is implemented. "There is generally good will and spikes of excellence in both departments. Substantial effort has been made toward providing service members excellent PTSD care. However, there is tremendous variability in how care is implemented and an absence of data that tell us if programs are working or not," Dr. Galea said.

"In many respects our findings that neither the DOD nor the VA has a system that documents patients' progress and uses standardized instruments to chart long-term treatment are not surprising," he added. "We are hopeful that the report will provide a blueprint for where we need to get to."

The report is the second of a two-phase assessment of PTSD services for the military. The first report of the committee, also chaired by Dr. Galea, was issued in July 2012.


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Contact: Stephanie Berger
sb2247@columbia.edu
212-305-4372
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health
Source:Eurekalert

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