"Clearly, further efforts are required to improve the care of these patients with pain and PTSD, and extra care should be taken when prescribing opioids to relieve their distress," Rego said.
The Department of Veterans Affairs, acknowledging concerns about prescription drug abuse, said in a statement Tuesday that it welcomes this study. "While this research acknowledges that VA is a leader in providing therapy for PTSD and pain, we recognize that more work remains," the statement said.
That work includes teaming up primary care physicians with nurses, mental health providers, pharmacists and social workers, the VA said.
For more information on PTSD, visit the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health.
SOURCES: Karen H. Seal, M.D., M.P.H., San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center; Jennifer J. Vasterling, Ph.D., chief, psychology, VA Boston Healthcare System, and professor, psychiatry, Boston University School of Medicine; Simon A. Rego, Psy.D., director, psychology training, Montefiore Medical Center, New York City; March 6, 2012, news release, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; March 7, 2012, Journal of the American Medical Association
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