Sunday, January 25, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Report: Half of vets with PTSD got treatment

By
From page A5 | June 21, 2014 |

WASHINGTON — Only about half of the veterans diagnosed with PTSD last year after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan received the recommended therapy despite efforts by the Department of Veterans Affairs to beef up its mental health staffing, the Institute of Medicine said in a report released Friday.

About 53 percent of the veterans whose primary diagnosis was PTSD got at least eight psychotherapy sessions within a 14-week period in 2013. But that is significantly short of the department’s target of 67 percent, according to the report.

The Institute of Medicine also found issues with the way active members of the military dealing with PTSD are treated. It described the Department of Defense’s treatment programs as “ad hoc, incremental, and crisis-driven, with little planning devoted to the development of a long-range approach to obtaining desired outcomes.”

Together, the two departments spent nearly $3.3 billion in 2012 to treat patients with PTSD. And while both are making strides to identify and treat people with PTSD, many obstacles remain before they will have an “integrated and higher-performing” system, the report said.

One of the biggest problems is a lack of data to measure which treatments patients are receiving and whether the patients are getting better, said the study’s chairman, Sandro Galea of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University.

“Given that the DOD and VA are responsible for serving millions of service members, families, and veterans, we found it surprising that no PTSD outcome measures are used consistently to know if these treatments are working or not,” Galea said. “They could be highly effective, but we won’t know unless outcomes are tracked and evaluated.”

Galea said tracking does occur with veterans participating in a specific VA program that involves intensive therapy, but that program serves only 1 percent of veterans who have PTSD, and the data suggest the program yields only modest improvement in symptoms.

The VA has come under fire recently because of the troubles some new patients have had getting access to care. The IOM’s study has been taking place for years, however. The first phase of study, released in 2012, recommended that soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan undergo annual screening for PTSD and that federal agencies conduct more research into which treatments were working.

For active military, the report notes that each service branch has established its own prevention programs, trains its own mental health staff, and has its own programs and services for PTSD treatment. It said the service branch’s lacked an overarching authority to enforce policies related to preventing, treating and screening for PTSD.

The report also said DOD leaders aren’t consistently held accountable for implementing policies and programs to manage PTSD effectively.

The panel pointed out that the VA has at least established minimum care requirements nationally. Still, it’s unclear whether staff adheres to the standards. The VA’s computer health records system allows clinicians to track what medications the patients are receiving, but it does not allow for more complete tracking of the types of therapy being used. A new template was supposed to be available for clinicians beginning last November but was not operational as of late January, the report said.

In a statement, VA officials said they were briefed on the findings this week and will address the recommendations, but they did not go into more detail about how they would do so. A formal response to Congress is due Jan. 1, 2015.

The Defense Department said it’s been taking steps to address problems cited in the report.

“We agree with the IOM that although great strides have been made, critical gaps remain. We are already taking practical steps to address many of these issues,” said Lt. Col. Cathy Wilkinson, a Defense Department spokeswoman.

For example, she said, beginning in September, all services were directed to begin collecting symptom severity and outcome data for PTSD, anxiety, and depression at all points of service using standardized measures.

The report recommended that the two departments work together to develop and enact a management system that would document a patient’s progress over the course of their treatment, regardless of where they get care.

Among the other findings by the IOM:

–PTSD has also increased among veterans from long-ago conflicts. In 2013, 62,536 new cases of PTSD were diagnosed in veterans who did not serve in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

–Veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars use the VA at rates double those of other veterans, 54 percent for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans versus 27 percent for all veterans.

–PTSD is the third most common major service-connected disability after hearing loss and ringing of the ears.

The Institute of Medicine is an independent group of experts that advises the federal government on medical issues. Its recommendations often make their way into laws drafted by Congress and policies implemented by federal agencies.

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Nursing students take next step in higher education

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: C1 | Gallery

 
Friend seeks justice for 1982 Vacaville homicide victim

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1, 12 Comments | Gallery

 
Solano GOP welcomes address from King niece

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A1, 5 Comments | Gallery

 
Biggest Little Car Show returns for 31st year

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Solano Safety Net Summit set in Fairfield downtown

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3

Wine, chocolate pairing comes to downtown Benicia

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Local gas prices dip below $2 a gallon

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A3, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Be heart smart all year long

By Gerald Bourne, MD | From Page: C4

Kindergarten Readiness Roundup enlightens parents

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Weather for Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B4

Crews respond to residential fire

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
CHP seeks witnesses to I-80 crash

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A5, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
City seeks input on downtown plan

By Brian Miller and Karl Dumas | From Page: B7, 2 Comments

Fairfield police log: Jan. 23, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
Suisun City police log: Jan. 23, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

Privatized housing tenants to feel BAH pinch

By Tom Philpott | From Page: B10

 
Suisun City police log: Jan. 22, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

Airman with Fairfield tie completes training

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B10

 
.

US / World

Abe ‘speechless’ after video claims IS hostage dead

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
It’s a hoot hanging out with owls at this Tokyo cafe

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2 | Gallery

Man searching by plane finds body of missing son off Mexico

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Kia recalling nearly 87,000 Fortes because of fire risk

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Elon Musk’s SpaceX drops lawsuit against Air Force

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
California’s public-worker payroll increased post-recession

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Avian flu confirmed in commercial turkey flock in California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Boy, 13, arrested in fatal stabbing near Los Angeles school

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Abortion opponents express renewed hope at SF rally

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
School: Sea otter conceived in wild is 1st born in captivity

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Company seeks rights to names of iconic Grand Canyon lodges

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Expert says King Tut mask can be restored after epoxy used

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Obama to cut short India trip to pay call on Saudi Arabia

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

GOP presses state bills limiting gay rights before ruling

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
1st attempt to lift fuselage of crashed AirAsia plane fails

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Tens of thousands protest after president resigns in Yemen

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Thousands march against socialist president in Venezuela

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Rockets kill 30 in Ukrainian city as rebels launch offensive

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
.

Opinion

Plea for return of stolen statue

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
Not all police are bad

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 10 Comments

Editorial Cartoon: Jan. 25, 2015

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sound off for Jan. 25, 2015

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

 
 
.

Living

Today in History: Jan. 25, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Jan. 25, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

The gift of a new beginning

By Dalia Adams | From Page: C3, 1 Comment

 
Mennonite group to build houses in tornado-damaged town

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

Yearbooks bring Jewish, Catholic groups together

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

 
Horoscope Jan. 25, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

My dad can’t get over the bad first impression of my boyfriend

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

 
.

Entertainment

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
Mariel Hemingway working on memoir and young adult novel

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

Jonathan Franzen to appear at BookExpo America

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

.

Sports

Thompson’s record 3rd quarter leads Warriors past Kings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Belichick on deflated balls: ‘We try to do everything right’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1, 4 Comments | Gallery

25 years of trying to get it right

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1, 3 Comments | Gallery

 
Sharapova, Bouchard into quarterfinals at Australian Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

2 Williams sisters, 2 Madisons into 4th round at Aussie Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Hall of Famer Ernie Banks mourned in sports world and beyond

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

AP Interview: Selig says MLB could expand internationally

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Could Super Bowl be Lynch’s finale in Seattle?

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Sherman, Seahawks take the trash-talk lead over Patriots

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki’s surgically repaired hip on mend

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Buckeyes celebrate their title at Ohio Stadium

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Carroll, Belichick excelled after failing the first time

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Luck-led Team Carter vs. Romo-lead Team Irvin in Pro Bowl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
AP Explains: The Pro Bowl, unlike any other All-Star game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Abdullah leads North to 34-13 win over South in Senior Bowl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
As Brady, Gronk know, pre-Super Bowl injury talk always big

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Upstart wins $400,000 Holy Bull at Gulfstream

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Mischief Clem wins California Cup Derby in photo finish

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

World Cup of Hockey tournament set for 2016

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Hometown report: Bowling

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B3

Ashley Wagner wins 3rd US title with record-setting scores

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Weber’s 108.5-mph blast gives him hardest shot at NHL skills

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Jimenez, Mediate share lead in Champions Tour opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Grace wins Qatar Masters by 1 stroke

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Matt Kuchar stumbles in, gives away Humana Challenge lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
For streaking Atlanta Hawks, it’s all about the balance

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Sports on TV for Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B5

 
This date in sports history for Jan. 25, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

.

Business

Anheuser-Busch to buy craft beer company

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Higher standard deduction, other breaks for older taxpayers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

Booking a trip to the ER on your smartphone? It’s a breeze

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Recalls this week: cleaners, fitness machines

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Tiny Cokes: Less guilt means more money for makers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
First Look: Apple’s HomeKit could help smarten up your home

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

.

Obituaries

Sheila Margery (Smith) Luxenberg

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics