Effects of Integrative PTSD Treatment in a Military Health Setting

doi 10.9769/EPJ.2015.11.1.SL

Salvatore Libretto, Lara Hilton, Sandi Gordon and Weimin Zhang, Samueli Institute
Jerry Wesch, Warrior Combat Stress Reset Program, Fort Hood

Abstract: Research indicates that the current standard of care for combat-related stress disorders and related conditions is not maximally effective, nor does it fully address the biopsychological aspects, complexity, and overlap of precursors and co- morbidities characteristic of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). There is need for comprehensive interventions based upon both neuroscientific information and new integrative care mod- els. The Warrior Combat Stress Reset Program (Reset), an innovative intensive outpatient behavioral health program at the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center at Fort Hood, Texas, provided integrative care for active-duty service members for the treatment of PTSD symptoms from 2008 to 2015. The Reset protocol combined trauma-focused behavioral health techniques with complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) modalities including acupuncture, massage, Reiki, reflexology, and yoga. A retrospective, observational, quasi-experimental design was employed to determine the change in health outcomes from pre- to posttreatment. Treatment outcomes were analyzed for 764 service members who attended the 3-week behavioral health program between 2008 and 2013. Results indicate significant reductions in PTSD symptoms (PTSD Checklist Military version; p < .001), anxiety (Beck Anxiety Inventory; p < .001), depression (Beck Depression Inventory II; p < .001), and pain (Oswestry Pain Index; p < .001) from pre- to posttreatment. Outcome analysis by year indicates steady improvements in treatment gains for these major outcomes over time. Advancement is occurring in the search for effective, evidence-based treatments for PTSD. Reset demonstrated promise for reducing symptoms of PTSD, anxiety, and depression through its integrative approach combining traditional and trauma-focused psychological therapy with CAM treatments.

Keywords: military, PTSD, posttraumatic stress disorder, integrative medicine, complementary medicine, alternative medicine, CAM, EFT, Emotional Freedom Techniques, EMDR

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