We have collated some articles from the research literature relevant to clinicians working with veterans. This list will be updated monthly, please remember to check back regularly.
A systematic review and meta-analysis of 69 randomised clinical trials including 4118 patients showed that cognitive behavioural therapy was associated with better outcomes compared with control conditions among patients with anxiety symptoms within 12 months after treatment completion. At longer follow-up, significant associations were found for generalised anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and posttraumatic stress disorder. Read full article here
This study examined self-reported experiences of assault or violence among communities affected by high, medium, and low disaster severity following the 2009 bushfires in Victoria, Australia. Women residing within high bushfire-affected communities experienced the highest levels of violence. These post-disaster experiences of violence are associated with post-disaster changes to income and with posttraumatic stress disorder and depression symptoms among women. Read full article here
The co-occurrence of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) and gambling disorder is an emerging area of research. This study of 204 patients from a gambling treatment-seeking population from the UK investigated the prevalence of IPV perpetration and victimisation. 20.1% of participants reported any IPV in the past year; 12.3% reported perpetration and 14.1% reported victimisation in the past year. There is a need for enhanced vigilance and first-line responses to IPV in problem gambling treatment services. Read full article here
Interventions are needed to support veterans, particularly those with PTSD, during transition to civilian life. Animal-assisted interventions show promise in reducing stress, depression, and improving wellbeing. A comprehensive, electronic review of the literature was performed. The authors concluded that, based on current evidence, a clear determination of efficacy was not possible. Read full article here
A new systematic review and meta-analysis of mind-body therapies (such as meditation, hypnosis and cognitive behavioural therapy) for patients whose pain is being treated with opioids highlights how useful these modalities can be and the importance of considering them when caring for patients suffering pain. Read full article here
In September 2019, the US Department of Veterans Affairs and the US Department of Defense approved a new joint clinical practice guideline for assessing and managing patients with chronic insomnia disorder and obstructive sleep apnea. This guideline gives health care teams a framework by which to screen, evaluate, treat, and manage the individual needs and preferences of patients with either of these conditions. Read full article here
This article describes the development of the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale for DSM–5 (CAPS-5) and presents the results of a psychometric evaluation of CAPS-5 scores in 2 samples of military veterans. The study provides clear evidence that the CAPS-5 is a psychometrically sound measure of DSM–5 PTSD diagnostic status and symptom severity. Read full article here.
PTSD is a severe condition that is linked to both individual and relationship problems. Therapies targeting couples and families have been recommended for the treatment of PTSD, but it is not clear if these are helpful in reducing trauma symptoms, and other mental health or relationship problems. The current review is the first attempt to summarise the findings from studies on couple and family therapies for adults with PTSD. Read full article here.
Physicians are concerned that the role of social connectedness in combating burnout among medical professionals is not receiving the emphasis that it deserves. While many interventions to reduce burnout have been proposed, none is more important, in the view of the authors, than addressing the fundamental human need to belong. In this article the authors emphasise that social connectedness is a basic human need that when lost leads to burnout, and they encourage health care institutions to apply lessons from team and organisational literature to increase social connectedness and enhance wellbeing. Read article abstract here (full text available to subscribers).
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