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 April 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 April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Couples Who Sleep Less Than An Inch Apart Might Be Happiest

Couples Who Sleep Less Than An Inch Apart Might Be Happiest

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study by British researchers suggests couples' sleeping positions might reflect their happiness. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) A new study out of Canada says cognitive motor performance begins deteriorating around age 24. 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