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Primary Care Behavioral Health: Integrated Care Improves Health Outcomes for Service Members

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Behavioral Health


According to the American Hospital Association, one in four Americans experience a behavioral health illness or substance use disorder each year, and the majority of those individuals also suffer from a comorbid physical health condition. Further, approximately 60 percent of mental health care visits are with a primary care physician and almost half of patients do not follow through when referred to a mental health specialist. Fortunately there’s a Defense Department program integrated into primary care clinics to help active-duty and retired service members and their families address some of these concerns.

Vicarious Traumatization, Compassion Fatigue and Burnout: The Hazards of Compassion in Military Mental Health

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Self Care


Are you feeling disconnected from those you care about? Wondering who is trustworthy? Or just feeling unsafe? Any of these symptoms could be indicative of vicarious traumatization (VT), which may be easily confused with compassion fatigue or professional burnout. Some clinicians who work with traumatized populations (including those with posttraumatic stress disorder and/or depression) may experience VT, and this may be particularly true for clinicians working with military members. Despite significant experience providing clinical care, many clinicians could benefit from a refresher of information on this important topic and a few suggestions to help prevent it.

Trauma-sensitive yoga for female Veterans with PTSD who experienced military sexual trauma

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VA Qtrly Rsrch Udate


A research team at the Atlanta VA Medical Center aims to find out if yoga can help with symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder in women Veterans. Dr. Ursula Kelly has started a clinical trial to study the benefits of yoga for Veterans who have experienced military sexual trauma and who also have PTSD.

Improving outcomes among inpatients with alcohol use disorders

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Alcohol Disorders


Dr. Christine Timko is a research scientist at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System. She will study the effectiveness of a new treatment to help Veterans with alcohol use disorders who transition from the hospital to an outpatient setting. The intervention, called Drinking Options: Motivate, Shared Decisions, Telemonitor (DO-MoST), makes use of motivational interviewing and a decision aid to help Veterans with AUDs plan their care following discharge. Researchers say they will telephone Veterans after they leave the hospital to help them stay motivated and feel supported in their efforts to reduce or stop drinking.

Drug used for PTSD nightmares falls short in large VA trial

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Drug used for PTSD


A drug called prazosin, used widely in VA to help ease nightmares from posttraumatic stress disorder, did no better than placebo pills in a large multisite clinical trial sponsored by VA’s Cooperative Studies Program (CSP). The trial involved more than 300 combat Veterans.

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