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Military Matters: The Importance of Brief Trauma-Focused Treatment within Substance Use ‎Disorder Specialty Care: Written Exposure Therapy (WET)‎
StressPoints
Date posted: 09/30/2021
Topic: Military and Combat
There are high rates of trauma exposure and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among treatment-seeking veterans with substance use disorders (SUD). The process of re-integrating into the civilian world while coping with psychological and physical conditions may increase the likelihood that veterans will develop substance problems.1,2 Comorbid PTSD contributes to poor SUD treatment outcomes and is associated with worse overall mental and physical health, including high rates of suicide and higher rates of relapse to alcohol and drugs.2,3
Shame Mediates Emotion Dysregulation and PTSD Symptoms in Combat Veterans
Date posted: 08/30/2021
Topic: Military and Combat
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is one of the most prevalent mental health disorders among US veterans and is associated with emotion dysregulation. Improvements in emotion dysregulation have corresponded with reductions in PTSD symptoms. However, it is unclear if specific emotions play a role in this relationship. 
SIG Spotlight: Military Women and Mental Health: Risk Factors and Implications for ‎Treatment
StressPoints
Date posted: 07/23/2021
Topic: Military and Combat
It has been a ground-breaking year for women serving in the military. In the U.S., the Marine Corps Recruiting Depot in San Diego welcomed its first female platoon (Athey, 2020) and President Biden appointed two female generals to lead Transportation and Southern Command (Hoffman & Starr, 2021). Outside of the U.S., Officer Cadets Chuki Wangmo, Midya Masti and Firushana Thaufeeq were the first women from Bhutan, the Kurdistan region of Iraq, and the Maldives to graduate from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (Forces Net, 2021b). Additionally, Major General Sharon Nesmith became the first female Army Officer in the U.K. to serve at the division level (Forces Net, 2021a). To honor this progress and recognize the mental health needs of women in the military, the ISTSS Military Special Interest Group offers this   brief overview of gender differences in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptomatology and treatment within the field of military psychology.
Military Matters: Understanding the Mental Health of U.S. Military Veterans During the ‎COVID-19 Pandemic: The Importance of Risk and Resilience Factors
StressPoints
Date posted: 05/27/2021
Topic: Military and Combat
The potential negative impact of COVID-19 on mental health has been a significant concern in the wake of the pandemic. Initial studies seemed to support this concern, as they indicate evidence of substantial increases in prevalence of depression and anxiety in the general public during the pandemic (Czeisler et al., 2020; Ettman et al., 2020). However, recent reports on deaths by suicide in the U.S. in 2020 have shown a 5% decline compared to 2019 (Ahmad & Anderson, 2021). Further, a meta-analysis of deaths by suicide in 21 countries have also reported results consistent with the trend in the U.S., with overall stable or declines in deaths by suicide in high- and upper-middle-income countries (Pirkis et al., 2021).
Long-Term Effects of Peacekeeping Deployment on Mental Health
Date posted: 12/2/2020
Topic: Military and Combat
Peacekeeping missions involve experiences that may impact the mental health of participating soldiers. The present study aimed to find the prevalence of mental health problems (MHPs), possible MHP predictors, and associations between predictors and MHPs in Norwegian peacekeepers 18–38 years after deployment to a United Nations peacekeeping mission. 
Enhancing Social Support May Improve Cognitive Processing Therapy Outcomes in Telemedicine for PTSD
Date posted: 07/13/2020
Topic: Military and Combat
Telehealth-based delivery of gold-standard posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treatments such as Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT; Resick et al., 2017) has been shown to be no less effective than in-person delivery of care (Morland et al., 2014, 2015). Yet providers may be curious about what might improve outcomes. Malleable characteristics, such as the amount of social support an individual perceives they have, are of special interest. Although some research has shown social support can encourage greater reductions in PTSD symptoms (Price et al., 2018), individuals living in rural areas might have important differences. Therefore, we set out to evaluate whether pre-existing perceived social support could enhance the effects of CPT for rural American military veterans participating in a pragmatic randomized effectiveness trial of telehealth-based collaborative care for PTSD (Fortney et al., 2015).
Implementation Patterns of Two Evidence‐Based Psychotherapies in Veterans Affairs Residential PTSD Programs: A Five‐Point Longitudinal National Investigation
Date posted: 07/14/2020
Topic: Military and Combat
The present study examined the patterns of adoption of two evidence‐based psychotherapies—prolonged exposure (PE) and cognitive processing therapy (CPT)—in U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs residential posttraumatic stress disorder treatment programs. Evaluation of adoption patterns over time suggested that CPT was used in more programs and with more patients within programs compared to PE. Strategies to improve sustainability measurement and implications for implementation science are discussed.
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Justice Involvement Among Military Veterans
Date posted: 07/17/2020
Topic: Military and Combat
Military veterans are at an increased risk for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to combat exposure and other traumatic military experiences (Xue et al, 2015). PTSD has been linked with criminal justice involvement including being arrested or incarcerated (Anderson, Geier, & Cahill, 2016; Elbogen et al., 2012; Sherman, Fostick, & Zohar, 2014). Understanding the association between PTSD and criminal justice involvement, as well as the strengths and limitations of the studies examining this association, will aid clinicians and healthcare systems that serve military veterans.
What symptoms of PTSD remain after integrated treatment for PTSD and alcohol use disorder?
Date posted: 07/21/2020
Topic: Military and Combat
Trauma-focused treatments are effective in reducing overall symptoms of PTSD. Previous studies have shown that some symptoms remain after treatment, even in people who don’t have a diagnosis of PTSD any longer. However, no studies have examined residual symptoms of PTSD in those with a co-morbid alcohol use disorder (AUD) diagnosis. We set out to understand whether there are differences in the likelihood of individual symptoms of PTSD or AUD persisting between two types of integrated psychotherapy for PTSD/AUD.
What works to treat trauma-related guilt in patients with PTSD and substance use disorders?
Date posted: 07/24/2020
Topic: Military and Combat
Patients diagnosed with comorbid posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance use disorders (SUD) endorse more severe PTSD symptoms, more suicidal ideation, and more impairments than patients with either disorder alone.  Guilt, a common response to trauma, can make treatment for these patients more complicated because guilt is also linked to more severe symptoms and worse treatment outcomes. Our study compared changes in trauma-related guilt in an integrated PTSD+SUD trauma-focused treatment (Concurrent Treatment of PTSD and Substance Use Disorders Using Prolonged Exposure; COPE) with an integrated present centered therapy that was not trauma-focused (Seeking Safety).
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