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Bush Institute Weighs in on Medical PTSD Study

Deputy Director of the Military Service Initiative Kacie Kelly weighs in on post-traumatic stress medical survey and shares how this study may inadvertently reinforce negative perceptions about veterans seeking mental healthcare.

Article by Ioanna Papas February 24, 2020 //   2 minute read
Photo credit: Shutterstock

A January 30 study about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) published in The Journal of the American Medical Association highlights important challenges veterans face when returning home from war, but the authors suggest trauma-focused therapies should not be prioritized as a first-line treatment. In an opinion article published on Military.com, Deputy Director of the George W. Bush Institute Military Service Initiative Kacie Kelly shares how this study may inadvertently reinforce negative perceptions about veterans seeking mental healthcare. 

“Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) and Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE) are good options and do work for many veterans. Some 30-50% of veterans who participate in one of these treatments experience significant symptom reduction and no longer meet criteria for PTSD diagnosis following treatment. While a recent publication called into question the effectiveness of CPT and PE with all veteransanother recent review of the literature on treatments of veterans and servicemembers with PTSD (supported by the International Society of Traumatic Stress Studies) concluded that these treatments should be used as first-line treatments while acknowledging the limitations (such as dropout rates and treatment complexities with often co-occurring conditions).

It seems the solution should be advocacy for research into new treatments for individuals who do not benefit from the first-line treatments. The study’s coverage unfortunately took a different and concerning approach, inaccurately suggesting that the treatments do not work.”

Read more at Military.com.