De­fense Depart­ment and VA should col­lect info for vets: IOM

Modern Healthcare - - Late News -

The De­fense and Vet­er­ans Af­fairs de­part­ments should col­lect in­for­ma­tion that will help vet­er­ans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—and their fam­ily mem­bers—read­just to life af­ter de­ploy­ment, ac­cord­ing to a re­port from the In­sti­tute of Medicine. Ac­cord­ing to the IOM, the re­search would serve to “an­swer many un­cer­tain­ties,” in­clud­ing how many and where men­tal health­care providers are needed; what works best in treat­ing trau­matic brain in­jury in the long term, and whether giv­ing ser­vice mem­bers time to de­com­press be­fore re­turn­ing home would be ben­e­fi­cial. In the past, ac­cess to care, in­clud­ing men­tal health ser­vices, has been a par­tic­u­lar chal­lenge for vet­er­ans who live in ru­ral ar­eas. Th­ese pre­lim­i­nary find­ings are part of a two-phase study, the IOM said. In the first phase, com­mit­tee mem­bers worked to iden­tify the most press­ing needs of the pop­u­la­tion through a re­view of sci­en­tific lit­er­a­ture, me­dia re­ports, and tes­ti­mony from vet­er­ans and their fam­i­lies at town-hall meet­ings. The sec­ond-phase re­port will present more detailed find­ings and rec­om­men­da­tions.

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