Christy Capone, Candice Presseau, Elizabeth Saunders, Erica Eaton, Jessica Hamblen, and Mark McGovern
This study examined the effects of integrating cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) treatment into treatment as usual among Iraq-Afghanistan veterans with co-occurring post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance use disorder (SUD). Study participants added CBT and continued with their normal VA care (e.g., psychotherapy, medication management, and skills training) and were compared to those who only participated in treatment as usual. Standard care and the integrated CBT showed significant reductions in both PTSD and SUDs, but integrated CBT treatment was more effective in reducing the return of symptoms. The authors also discuss the challenges they faced in engaging and retaining treatment clients.
Andrea Finlay, Ingrid Binswanger, Christine Timko, Joel Rosenthal, Sean Clark, Jessica Blue-Howells, Kim McGuire, Hildi Hagedorn, Jessie Wong, James Van Campen, and Alex Harris
The study examined a sample of more than 320,000 veterans who had been diagnosed with alcohol use disorder (AUD) by Veterans Health Administration centers across the nation. They found that male veterans recently or currently involved in the criminal justice system were more likely to receive pharmacotherapy for alcohol use than male veterans without this criminal justice history. Prescription rates were low overall.
Craig Bryan, Feea Leifkar, David Rozek, AnnaBelle Bryan, and Mira Reynolds
This small study examined the effectiveness of cognitive processing therapy among 20 veterans previously diagnosed with PTSD. PTSD symptom severity and diagnoses were significantly reduced after treatment. PTSD symptom severity, PTSD diagnoses, and suicidal ideation showed significant reductions at the 6-month follow-up point. However, there was no significant change in depression symptom severity.
Colleen Judge-Golden, Sonya Borrero, Xinhua Zhao, Maria Mor, and Lisa Callegari
The authors conducted telephone surveys with a nationally-representative sample of more than 2,000 female veterans. The majority of the sample reported being diagnosed with a mental health condition (68 percent) or having at least one unintended pregnancy (57 percent). Regressions showed that female veterans with mental health disorders were more likely to have unintended pregnancies than female veterans who did not suffer from mental health concerns.
Elizabeth Karras, Cara Stokes, Sara Warfield, Heather Elder, Brady Stephens, and Robert Bossarte
Telephone surveys were conducted with 809 middle-aged veterans to determine effective methods of suicide prevention via messaging. They found that more than 30 percent of this population thought individuals with mental health concerns were a danger to others and 24 percent stated they would not want anyone to know if they also suffered from a mental health disorder. Only 51 percent believed that seeking help for suicidal ideation would be easy for them.
Mark Alden Morgan, Matthew W. Logan, and Francis T. Cullen
This study analyzed the prison experiences of a sample of 14,278 incarcerated veterans. In comparison to their civilian counterparts, veterans did not have a worse experience in prison and were more likely to obtain treatment while in prison. However, the higher rates of mental illness and suicidality among veterans mediated this effect.