Navigation Links
Follow-Up Exams Uncover More Iraq Vets With Emotional Woes
Date:11/13/2007

It may take months for conditions like depression, PTSD to emerge, study says

TUESDAY, Nov. 13 (HealthDay News) -- The number of Iraq war veterans needing mental-health care has risen sharply since the U.S. Defense Department began screening them a second time for emotional problems, U.S. military researchers reported Tuesday.

Initial screenings of veterans uncovered 4.4 percent who needed treatment for problems such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). But six months later, a second screening found 11.7 percent were in need of mental health care, indicating that it might take several months for emotional disorders to emerge, the study suggested.

"We know mental health problems are a problem for soldiers who have been to war," said lead researcher Dr. Charles S. Milliken, of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research at the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command. "We are doing a good thing by having erected these screening programs. Between the two screenings, we are finding a large group of soldiers that are having problems."

The findings are published in the Nov. 14 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

For the study, Milliken and his colleagues collected data on the mental health of 88,235 Iraq war veterans who completed an initial screening and a second screening about six months later. Both screenings included a questionnaire and a short interview with a clinician.

"In the second screening, you do find a larger group of soldiers the first screening completely missed," Milliken said. "It's about twice as big."

The researchers found that more soldiers had mental health problems -- such as PTSD, major depression or alcohol abuse -- during the later screening. In the first screening, 4.4 percent of the soldiers were referred for mental health care, but, after the second screening, 11.7 percent were referred.

Milliken thinks the two-step screening process helps remove the stigma attached to seeking help for emotional problems. "Soldiers are like other young males, they have a stigma about seeking mental health care," he said.

Among all the soldiers screened, 20.3 percent of active duty personnel were referred for mental health care, as were 42.4 percent of reserve soldiers, the study found.

Milliken said he didn't know why the difference exists between the active duty soldiers and the reservists. He speculated, however, that it might have to do with the VA's insurance structure that allows reservists access to free care for service-related health problems.

One expert thinks the new, two-tier system for identifying soldiers with emotional problems is working, but the shear numbers of affected veterans could overburden the VA's health-care system.

"I am not surprised by the rates of PTSD among Iraqi vets," said Dr. Randall Marshall, director of Trauma Studies at the New York State Psychiatric Institute and an associate professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Marshall said the difference in PTSD rates among active duty and reserve personnel is expected. "Part of what training is meant to do is desensitize soldiers to all the potential experiences on the battlefield, and the reservists have less training and are therefore more vulnerable to war experiences," he said.

Marshall also said that many reservists have had several tours of duty, "which is something they had not signed up for."

Also, many of these part-time soldiers were split from their units, which means they didn't have as much of a support system as active duty personnel, he said.

Marshall sees another major problem developing for returning veterans. Most psychotherapists aren't trained in the best ways to treat PTSD, he said. "You can't assume because it's a VA hospital everyone there has had this kind of training," he said.

In addition, the number of soldiers needing mental health care is straining an already overburdened system.

"If 20 percent of the veterans realize they need help and start to seek treatment, the system will be overwhelmed. Signs are, it already is," Marshall said.

More information

To learn more, visit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.



SOURCES: Charles S. Milliken, M.D., Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, Silver Spring, Md.; Randall Marshall, M.D., director, Trauma Studies, New York State Psychiatric Institute, and associate professor of clinical psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians amp; Surgeons, New York City; Nov. 14, 2007, Journal of the American Medical Association


'/>"/>
Copyright©2007 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Latest DES Analysis Stresses Importance of Physicians Well-Trained in Implantation Technique and Patient Follow-Up
2. Methadone and systematic follow-up: the best solution for managing chronic pain
3. Catheter angiography may be an unnecessary follow-up to CT angiography
4. Conseco to Host Follow-Up Long-Term Care Conference Call
5. EPA Says Follow-Up Sampling Shows No PCB Risk at Park Ridge Elementary School
6. Vocantas CallAssure provides hospitals with automated solution for post-discharge patient follow-up
7. Reunion with patient inspires follow-up study on treatment for DiGeorge syndrome
8. Pelvic Exams Can Help Spot Ovarian Cancer
9. New study likely to fuel debate over annual physical exams
10. Doctors of Optometry Applaud New Law Requiring Eye Exams for Illinois Children
11. As Exams Loom, Students Find Hope in a Stick
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Follow-Up Exams Uncover More Iraq Vets With Emotional Woes
(Date:9/20/2017)... ... September 20, 2017 , ... Health & Safety Institute (HSI) is offering discounted ... and 40-Hour courses from now until November 30, 2017 to assist with the clean-up ... prices to all businesses and government agencies – whether or not they will be ...
(Date:9/20/2017)... ... September 20, 2017 , ... “Finn Mouseson”: follows the exciting story ... average life. This mouse sets out on a journey that will show that friends ... the creation of newly published author and illustrator, Melody Gersonde-Mickelson, who has earned a ...
(Date:9/20/2017)... ... September 20, 2017 , ... “The Foggy Road to Moorwick”: the adventures of a young ... creation of published author, Jeanine Liston, a busy mother of five who used her time ... been writing this book for over twenty years. It was a way to give ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... ... September 19, 2017 , ... ... Brazilian jiu-jitsu community have raised more than $15,000 in just a couple of ... professional submission grappling matches and world-class instructor seminars, organizers expect to double those ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... ... ... Trusted debt-reduction firm CreditAssociates, LLC has announced two important milestones. To date, ... million in resolved debt for its clients. , Credit card debt, unpaid hospital bills, ... debt settled by the company. With more than a decade of combined service to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/6/2017)... N.Y. , Sept. 6, 2017   PDI , ... announced it will host an educational session focused on ... bloodstream infection (CLABSI) prevention at the 2017 Annual Scientific ... which will take place at the Phoenix ... from Sept. 16-19, will also feature PDI,s ...
(Date:9/5/2017)... N.J. , Sept. 5, 2017  Getinge, ... has created a vibrant charitable donation program -- ... and support congenital heart defect research by The ... providers and the general public are encouraged to ... and submit the completed artwork to the gallery ...
(Date:9/1/2017)... 1, 2017  Bayer will present the latest research from ... Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2017 Congress, September 8-12 in ... preclinical and clinical data on Bayer,s marketed portfolio and late-stage ... "We value the ... cancer research at ESMO," said Carsten Brunn , Head ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: