Denver, CO, United States
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Betthauser L.M.,19 Mental Illness Research | Betthauser L.M.,University of Colorado at Denver | Brenner L.A.,19 Mental Illness Research | Brenner L.A.,University of Colorado at Denver | And 5 more authors.
Medical Care | Year: 2014

Background: Although Veterans utilize complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) at rates comparable with civilians, little is known about Veterans' attitudes and beliefs toward CAM. Measures to increase such knowledge may help to identify treatment preferences, particularly among those with signature conditions from the recent conflicts [ie, traumatic brain injury (TBI), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)].Objective: This exploratory study aimed to: (1) determine the factors of the Complementary, Alternative, and Conventional Medicine Attitudes Scale (CACMAS); and to utilize the resulting factors to describe (2) attitudes and beliefs toward CAM; (3) their association with TBI, PTSD, and history of self-directed violence. Patterns of CAM use were also obtained.Research Design: Factor analysis. Observational study.Subjects: Participants were 97 Veterans seeking care at a Mountain State Veterans Affairs Medical Center.Methods: Participants completed the CACMAS, clinical interviews, and self-report measures during a single visit.Results: CACMAS factors identified were: acceptability of (1) CAM and (2) conventional medicine; (3) mind-body integration; and (4) belief in CAM. Acceptability of CAM was significantly associated with history of mild TBI (mTBI) or PTSD symptom severity. Veterans endorsed a wide range of CAM use.Conclusions: Veterans in this sample were open to CAM and conventional medicine, believed in CAM, and believed that treatments should incorporate the mind and body. Veterans with a history of mTBI or PTSD symptoms may be more accepting of CAM. Understanding Veterans' beliefs and attitudes regarding CAM may help providers deliver patient-centered treatments, particularly among those with conditions for which evidence-based interventions are limited (eg, mTBI). Copyright © 2014 by Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

Matarazzo B.B.,19 Mental Illness Research | Matarazzo B.B.,University of Colorado at Denver | Wortzel H.S.,19 Mental Illness Research | Wortzel H.S.,University of Colorado at Denver | And 3 more authors.
Brain Impairment | Year: 2013

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is prevalent among veterans and military personnel. These individuals present with increased rates of co-morbid mental health conditions and are at increased risk for suicide. Evidence-based treatments are needed to serve this population. A systematic review was conducted in order to determine the state of the science with respect to interventions aimed at improving mental health outcomes among veterans and military personnel. Results indicate that only three published articles exist that met inclusion criteria for this systematic review. All three study designs were observational in nature. Significant risk of bias was noted. The body of evidence was rated according to the GRADE approach. Although the published work marks an important starting point in evaluating evidence-based treatments for veterans and military personnel with TBI, the overall quality of evidence was determined to be very low. Implications for both future research and current practice are discussed. Copyright © 2013 The Author(s).

Lusk J.,Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Inc | Lusk J.,19 Mental Illness Research | Lusk J.,University of Denver | Brenner L.A.,19 Mental Illness Research | And 9 more authors.
Journal of Clinical Psychology | Year: 2015

Objective: A qualitative study among Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) Soldiers was conducted to explore potential constructs underlying suicide according to the interpersonal-psychological theory of suicide (IPTS); these include burdensomeness, failed belonging, and acquired capability. Methods: Qualitative semistructured interviews were conducted with 68 Soldiers at 3 months post-OEF/OIF deployment. Soldiers were asked about changes in their experiences of pain, burdensomeness, and lack of belonging. The methodology employed was descriptive phenomenological. Results: Transcripts were reviewed and themes related to the IPTS constructs emerged. Soldiers' postdeployment transition experiences included higher pain tolerance, chronic pain, emotional reactivity, emotional numbing and distancing, changes in physical functioning, combat guilt, discomfort with care seeking, and difficulties reintegrating into family and society. Conclusions: Findings highlight the utility of the IPTS in understanding precursors to suicide associated with transition from deployment, as well as treatment strategies that may reduce risk in Soldiers during reintegration. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc., a Wiley Company.

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