Pacific Island Veterans to Test Therapy via Video Teleconferencing; 6.5 Million Dollars Granted for Innovative PTSD Treatment
The National Center for PTSD, Pacific Islands Division, was granted 6.5 million dollars by the VA/DoD to test the effectiveness of Cognitive Processing Therapy over Video Teleconferencing in the treatment of PTSD. The success of this research will help many veterans in rural geographical locations to receive the care they need by bridging that gap in care through the use of technology.
“There are many rural veterans, Reserve and National Guard service members in the Pacific Islands who have difficulty obtaining the care they need because they live in geographically isolated locations. Technology may offer one feasible solution to help bridge the gap,” said Dr. Leslie Morland. Through the VA and DoD grant, the immediate objective of this research is to evaluate the clinical effectiveness of a video teleconferencing treatment for providing an effective evidence-based intervention to rural Veterans, Reservists and National Guardsman suffering with PTSD.
PTSD is an anxiety disorder that affects people after they have experienced a traumatic event. Symptoms may include: reliving the event, nightmares, avoiding people and situations that remind you of the event, feeling numb, feeling on edge, fear, anxiety, guilt, shame, anger and irritability. Military service members who have been deployed are at especially high risk of developing PTSD, due to the high-stress environments that they encounter. Statistics from the VA show that 11-20% of Veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars (OEF/OIF), 10% of Gulf War (Desert Storm) Veterans and 30% of Vietnam Veterans struggle with PTSD.
Morland’s two large research studies consist of both a male and a female study. The first study, titled, “Telemental Health and Cognitive Processing Therapy for Rural Combat Veterans with PTSD,” includes male Veterans, Reserve and National Guard service members, of any war era, who are struggling with PTSD symptoms related to military combat. This is group therapy, taking place twice a week for 6 weeks, with each session lasting 105 minutes.
The second study, “Telemental Health and Cognitive Processing Therapy for Female Veterans with Military-related PTSD,” includes female Veterans, Reserve and National Guard service members, of any era, who are struggling with PTSD symptoms related to any trauma during their military service. This is an individual therapy, taking place either once a week for 12 weeks or twice a week for 6 weeks, depending on the Veteran’s schedule, with each session lasting 75 minutes. Both studies will recruit Veterans, Reserve and National Guard service members during the next few years.
For more information about this important research, please visit our website at www.pathwaystochangehawaii.com
The Department of Veterans Affairs serves more than 22 million Veterans nationwide. More information on VA services can be found at www.va.gov or by calling 1(800)-827-1000. As an employee of the VA and a Principal Investigator at the National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Dr. Leslie Morland is dedicated to the health and welfare of United States Veterans. Her clinical experience with PTSD includes individual, couples, group therapy for child and adult survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, childhood abuse, community violence and war-related trauma.
The goal of the National Center for PTSD is to improve the well-being of Veterans through research and education on the prevention, understanding and treatment of PTSD. For more information on the seven National Center’s around the country, please visit www.ptsd.va.gov.