Study Shows Telemedicine Could Help Veterans with PTSD




Legal Help for Veterans is a law firm helping veterans get the benefits they deserve.

Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) February 9, 2015 – Recent research published in JAMA Psychiatry shows that off-site, multidisciplinary care may be an effective form of treatment for veterans with severe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) who live in remote, rural areas.

A multisite, randomized trial examined the effectiveness of Telemedicine Outreach for PTSD (TOP), which involved a collaborative care team using telephone calls, video conferencing and shared electronic medical records. The study found that this approach, applied to PTSD sufferers living in areas with sparse resources, was more effective than traditional forms of treatment.

“Access to psychological care is a major issue for veterans living in rural areas,” said Jim Fausone, a Michigan veterans disability attorney.

In 2012, more than 500,000 veterans, or about nine percent of the total Veterans Health Administration (VHA) population, had a diagnosis of PTSD. The disorder can be as disabling as it is prevalent, preventing veterans from being productive or engaging with their loved ones in many cases.

PTSD can be effectively treated, but the 37 percent of VHA enrollees who live in rural areas face barriers to accessing psychiatrists and psychologists who specialize in PTSD.

The study analyzed veterans whose PTSD was classified as “severe.” Many had comorbidities such as depression or anxiety.Study participants received remote care from a team of nurse case managers, pharmacists, psychologists and psychiatrists, while a control group did not.

Twelve months after the study, the veterans who went through the TOP program were more likely to have received cognitive processing therapy and to have attended a greater number of sessions. They experienced less severe symptoms of PTSD, and they suffered from less depression.

Learn more at Legal Help for Veterans, PLLC 41700 West Six Mile Road, Suite 101 Northville, MI 48168 Toll Free Phone: 800.693.4800
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