Treatment for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Military and Veteran Populations: Final Assessment


Report at a Glance

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Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is one of the signature injuries of the U.S. conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. An estimated 8 percent of current and former service members deployed to these areas have a PTSD diagnosis. For these men and women, readjustment from combat zone deployments and reintegration into families and communities may be significantly hampered by chronic distress and disability in physical, psychological, social, and occupational functioning.

In response to the growing PTSD burden among service members and veterans, a provision of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2010 required the Secretary of the Department of Defense (DoD), in consultation with the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), to commission an IOM study to assess PTSD treatment programs and services in DoD and VA.

The IOM finds that both departments have made a sustained commitment to PTSD management and invested substantial financial and programmatic resources to provide care to service members and veterans. However, a lack of standards, reporting, and evaluation significantly compromises these efforts. The report offers recommendations and guidance for improving processes and infrastructure to allow DoD and VA to respond more strategically and effectively to the increasing prevalence of PTSD among U.S. service members and veterans.