Effects of Sensory-Enhanced Yoga on Symptoms of Combat Stress in Deployed Military Personnel, American Journal of Occupational Therapy January/February 2012 , Vol. 66 (1) pp. 59-68
OBJECTIVE. We examined the effects of sensory-enhanced hatha yoga on symptoms of combat stress in deployed military personnel, compared their anxiety and sensory processing with that of stateside civilians, and identified any correlations between the State–Trait Anxiety Inventory scales and the Adolescent/Adult Sensory Profile quadrants.
METHOD. Seventy military personnel who were deployed to Iraq participated in a randomized controlled trial. Thirty-five received 3 wk (≥9 sessions) of sensory-enhanced hatha yoga, and 35 did not receive any form of yoga.
RESULTS. Sensory-enhanced hatha yoga was effective in reducing state and trait anxiety, despite normal pretest scores. Treatment participants showed significantly greater improvement than control participants on 16 of 18 mental health and quality-of-life factors. We found positive correlations between all test measures except sensory seeking. Sensory seeking was negatively correlated with all measures except low registration, which was insignificant.
CONCLUSION. The results support using sensory-enhanced hatha yoga for proactive combat stress management.
Imagery rescripting and exposure group treatment of posttraumatic nightmares in Veterans with PTSD, Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 2011, Volume 25, Issue 4, pp. 531-535
Mary E. Long et al.
This study details results of an open trial of a group psychological treatment for Veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and chronic posttraumatic nightmares called “Imagery Rescripting and Exposure Therapy” (IRET). IRET is a variant of a successful imagery rescripting treatment for civilian trauma-related nightmares that was modified to address the needs of the Veteran population. Thirty-seven male U.S. Veterans with PTSD and nightmares attended 6 multicomponent group sessions. Findings indicated that the intervention significantly reduced frequency of nightmares and PTSD severity, as well as increased hours of sleep. Unlike the few open trials examining treatment of nightmares in Veterans, effect sizes in this study were similar to those that have been found in the civilian randomized controlled trial. These preliminary findings suggest that a nightmares treatment can be adapted to successfully reduce distress associated with combat Veterans’ chronic nightmares. Clinical and research implications are discussed.
Association of participation in a mindfulness program with measures of PTSD, depression and quality of life in a veteran sample, Journal of Clinical Psychology, 2012, Vol.68 (1) pp. 101–116
Kearney, D. J. et al.
Objectives: To assess outcomes of veterans who participated in mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR). Design: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, depression, functional status, behavioral activation, experiential avoidance, and mindfulness were assessed at baseline, and 2 and 6 months after enrollment. Results: At 6 months, there were significant improvements in PTSD symptoms (standardized effect size, d = -0.64, p< 0.001); depression (d = -0.70, p<0.001); behavioral activation (d = 0.62, p<0.001); mental component summary score of the Short Form-8 (d = 0.72, p<0.001); acceptance (d = 0.67, p<0.001); and mindfulness (d = 0.78, p<0.001), and 47.7% of veterans had clinically significant improvements in PTSD symptoms. Conclusions: MBSR shows promise as an intervention for PTSD and warrants further study in randomized controlled trials
Multicomponent behavioral treatment for chronic combat-related posttraumatic stress disorder: A randomized controlled trial, Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 2011, Vol. 25(2) pp. 224-31
Deborah C. Beidel, B. Christopher Frueh, Thomas W. Uhde, Nina Wong, Janelle M. Mentrikoski
This study examined the efficacy of a multicomponent cognitive-behavioral therapy, Trauma Management Therapy, which combines exposure therapy and social emotional rehabilitation, to exposure therapy only in a group of male combat veterans with chronic posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Thirty-five male Vietnam veterans with PTSD were randomly assigned to receive either Trauma Management Therapy (TMT) or Exposure Therapy Only (EXP). Participants were assessed at pre-treatment, mid-treatment, and post-treatment. Primary clinical outcomes were reduction of PTSD symptoms and improved social emotional functioning. Results indicated that veterans in both conditions showed statistically significant and clinically meaningful reductions in PTSD symptoms from pre- to post-treatment, though consistent with a priori hypotheses there were no group differences on PTSD variables. However, compared to the EXP group, participants in the TMT group showed increased frequency in social activities and greater time spent in social activities. These changes occurred from mid-treatment (after completion of exposure therapy) to post-treatment (after completion of the social emotional rehabilitation component); supporting the hypothesis that TMT alone would result in improved social functioning. Although the TMT group also had a significant decrease in episodes of physical rage, that change occurred prior to introduction of the social emotional component of TMT. This study demonstrates efficacy of exposure therapy for treating the core symptoms of PTSD among combat veterans with a severe and chronic form of this disorder. Moreover, multi-component CBT shows promise for improving social functioning beyond that provided by exposure therapy alone, particularly by increasing social engagement/interpersonal functioning in a cohort of veterans with severe and chronic PTSD.
Family Reintegration Difficulties and Couples Therapy for Military Veterans and Their Spouses, Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, Volume 18, Issue 1, February 2011, Pages 108-119
There is compelling evidence that mental health problems complicate the process of family reintegration of military service members after a wartime deployment. Couples in which one spouse has recently returned from military deployment in Iraq or Afghanistan and are experiencing marital problems can present a significant treatment challenge. There is little empirical evidence regarding effective treatments for this population, and these couples tend to exhibit a wide range of difficulties, including the following: conflicts about reintegration, problems with posttraumatic stress disorder and/or depression, chronic injury, infidelity, and personal and social challenges associated with rejoining civilian life. Behavioral couples therapy provides a useful framework for intervention with these couples, combined with individual treatment and education about the impact of combat deployment. This paper discusses considerations for integrating these treatment approaches and future clinical and research needs for these couples.
The BIG Lottery Fund has awarded COBSEO preferred bidder status to form the Forces in Mind Trust (FIMT). COBSEO is bidding for an endowment of £35 million, which is to be used over a 20 year period, to support the psychological wellbeing and successful transition back to civilian life of UK Armed Forces men and women, veterans and their families.
The BIG Lottery Fund, England Committee, will make a decision in November and, if successful, COBSEO will begin the process of establishing FIMT as an independent organisation, which is expected to take 6 months to complete. During that process FIMT will be working with established charities and organisations to help advance their work in supporting the transition process for some of the most vulnerable and needy groups.
In the first year, FIMT will review existing research to obtain evidence of the need and, where gaps in knowledge are identified, will commission further research. The aim is to ensure that FIMT is able to provide the evidence needed to deliver projects, either directly or in partnership with other charities and organisations, so that those undergoing transition have a positive outcome.
It is not the intention of FIMT to provide benevolence direct to individuals because this is the well established role of the existing Service charities, which have the processes in place to be able to assess the needs of the individual and award grants accordingly.
FIMT expects to be open to take applications for grants from July 2012. At this time the full criteria for applications will be available on the FIMT website.
To provide all Armed Forces personnel who are about to leave colour service, veterans and their dependants, with the tools, techniques and procedures for managing the dramatic change in cultures when embarking on civilian life. Teaching them how to take control of their lives and achieve their full potential in their communities.
The Remount charity was set up in 2007 by former soldier Neville Barton who recognized that Armed Forces personnel needed help returning to civilian life.
Whilst the Army offers a good resettlement package which addresses the practical side of change, the psychological effects of loss, loneliness and a shift in cultures are not always recognized.
With the support of trainers at the Brathay Trust, Remount courses were devised to offer physical challenges and emotional support to ease that transition.