Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers Develop An Integrated Treatment For Veterans With Chronic Pain And Posttraumatic Stress

Date:
October 3, 2009
Source:
Boston University Medical Center
Summary:
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have resulted in a growing number of soldiers evacuated to the United States for comprehensive care for physical and psychological trauma. Given the number of physical injuries often experienced by soldiers, it is not surprising that chronic pain is a frequent problem among returning soldiers from Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have resulted in a growing number of soldiers evacuated to the United States for comprehensive care for physical and psychological trauma. Given the number of physical injuries often experienced by soldiers, it is not surprising that chronic pain is a frequent problem among returning soldiers from Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom (OIF/OEF).

Common sources of pain are in the head (traumatic-brain injury or post-concussion syndrome), legs (fractures, amputations, burns) and shoulders. Other physical injuries include spinal-cord and eye injuries as well as auditory trauma. In addition, veterans are reporting high rates of mental health issues, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression and alcohol use disorders.

Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) researchers have developed an integrated treatment program for veterans with comorbid chronic pain and PTSD. This study appeared in the October issue of Pain Medicine.

BUSM researchers found in this pilot study that soldiers have shown great benefit from receiving the integrated treatment for pain and PTSD. BUSM researchers used components of cognitive processing therapy (CPT) for PTSD and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for chronic pain management. A 12-session integrated treatment for veterans was developed including a therapist manual and patient workbook for weekly readings and homework assignments. Participants received pre and post-treatment evaluations using measures of pain, PTSD, physical disability and psychological distress.

The CBT approach has been shown to be highly effective in treating a range of disorders, from PTSD to chronic pain in children and adults. Using CBT for chronic pain involves challenging maladaptive beliefs and teaching patients' ways of safely reintroducing enjoyable activities into their lives. BUSM researchers used different methods for treating chronic pain and PTSD, including teaching veterans cognitive restructuring, relaxation training, time-based activity pacing so that veterans become more active without overdoing it, and lastly graded homework assignments designed to decrease patients' avoidance of activity and reintroduce a healthy active lifestyle.

"Several themes emerged over the course of implementing the treatment, including the importance of establishing participant trust, regular therapy attendance and addressing participant avoidance," explained lead researcher John D. Otis, PhD an assistant professor of psychiatry and psychology at Boston University School of Medicine and clinical psychologist in the Research Services at the VA Boston Healthcare System. "Participants reported that they liked the format of treatment, appreciated learning about the ways that chronic pain and PTSD share common symptoms and how the two disorders interact with one another," said Otis.

Upon completing the 12-week integrated treatment, several participants no longer met diagnostic criteria for PTSD and reported reductions in symptoms of chronic pain, and disability.

This study was funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Rehabilitation, Research and Development Service, and supported by the Research Service of the VA Boston Healthcare System.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Boston University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Boston University Medical Center. "Researchers Develop An Integrated Treatment For Veterans With Chronic Pain And Posttraumatic Stress." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 October 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090930084604.htm>.
Boston University Medical Center. (2009, October 3). Researchers Develop An Integrated Treatment For Veterans With Chronic Pain And Posttraumatic Stress. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090930084604.htm
Boston University Medical Center. "Researchers Develop An Integrated Treatment For Veterans With Chronic Pain And Posttraumatic Stress." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090930084604.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) In a small study, researchers found that the majority of long-time smokers quit after taking psilocybin pills and undergoing therapy sessions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Fat Shaming' Might Actually Cause Weight Gain

'Fat Shaming' Might Actually Cause Weight Gain

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) A study for University College London suggests obese people who are discriminated against gain more weight than those who are not. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins