Psychoeducation Effectiveness on Military with Ptsd

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Psychoeducation Effectiveness on Military with PTSD

ABSTRACT

This research paper explores medical professional’s use of psychoeducation in the treatment of Post traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) with military personnel. Through my research I wanted to find in depth narratives outlining the following questions: Is psycho-education a suitable intervention technique in the treatment of PTSD? If so, when is it correct to use or integrate psychoeducation in the treatment process with military personnel? Also, what have been the results in using psychoeducation as a type of treatment for PTSD with individual military personnel? How do you assess the success of this intervention? Results from exploring the meaning and understanding of psychoeducation, and the effectiveness in the treatment of PTSD revealed subjective results due to timeframe and situation of use with the treatment technique. The data collected from the research suggested the need for more research to be performed on the effectiveness and best practices of the use of psychoeducation in the treatment of PTSD.

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has captured the minds and imagination of the American public especially during this time of war. With the increased violence due to the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, many Soldiers are affected by the violence and the trauma associated with conflict. Post-traumatic stress disorder is defined in the dictionary as a mental disorder, as battle fatigue, occurring after a traumatic event outside the range of usual human experience, and characterized by symptoms such as reliving the event, reduced involvement with others, and manifestations of autonomic arousal such as hyper-alertness and exaggerated startle response ("Posttraumatic stress disorder." Random House Unabridged Dictionary.) Soldiers throughout history have had to deal with the mental, physical and emotional stress associated with combat. Many of the returning Soldiers from the Iraq War have indicators of combat related stress or are diagnosed with PTSD. In a speech to the U.S. House Committee on Veterans Affairs’ Health Subcommittee Col. Charles Hoge, M.D., Chief of Psychiatry and Behavior Services at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research stated that 19% to 21% of troops who have returned from combat deployments meet criteria for PTSD, depression or anxiety. Of these, 15% to 17% of troops who served in Iraq and 6% of those who served in Afghanistan had PTSD symptoms when surveyed three to 12 months after their deployments. In general, PTSD rates were highest among units that served deployments of 12 months or more and had more exposure to combat (Kaplan, 2006, p.1). The Department of Defense has initiated numerous resources such as Military OneSource, pre/post health assessments, and has increased the behavioral health services that military personnel, veterans can use for mental health resources (Kaplan, 2006). There are several therapeutic approaches used in the treatment of PTSD, which include Psychotherapy, Cognitive Behavioral Treatment, Family Systems theory, group therapy and psychoeducation. However for the current research, I have chosen to focus on the effectiveness of psychoeducation in the treatment of combat related trauma, also known as PTSD, with military families and veterans, because of the limited body of literature and its flexibility of use with individuals, groups and in a variety of treatment. Psychoeducation has proven to be an effective method in the treatment of many mental illnesses including PTSD. The research strongly suggests that psychoeducation can be effective in reducing symptoms, hospitalization and stigma in a person’s diagnoses with PTSD while providing support and cost efficient treatment. Since the inception of PTSD, several theories of treatment have been introduced focusing on varied aspects of the biological, social and psychological reasons for the development of PTSD. According to the Handbook of...
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