No one has been tracking whether or not US veterans have been benefiting in any way from over $3.2 billion annually in mental health treatment programs for post-traumatic stress disorder from the Veterans Administration and Department of Defense, according to a National Academies press release and report from the US Institute of Medicine. An estimated 5 percent of veterans have been diagnosed with PTSD. “Given that the DOD and VA are responsible for serving millions of service members, families, and veterans, we found it surprising that no PTSD outcome measures are used consistently to know if these treatments are working or not,” said committee chair Sandro Galea of Columbia University.
The one small PTSD treatment program that was tracked, the researchers noted, yielded “only modest improvements in symptoms.”
Effectiveness of PTSD Treatment Provided by Defense Department and VA Unknown; Tracking of Outcomes Needed to Manage Growing Burden (Press Release, National Academies.)
Treatment for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Military and Veteran Populations Final Assessment (2014) (National Academies Press, 2014)