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Deployment Trauma: Insights from the TRACTS Cohort of the Effects of mTBI and Blast Exposure in OEF/OIF Veterans

Regina McGlinchey


Michael Esterman
Catherine Fortier
David Salat


Veterans from Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation New Dawn (OEF/OIF/OND) are a clinically complex group with multiple comorbidities, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). Despite this burden of illness, these patients have proven to be difficult to engage in typical VA standard of care models. Recent evidence suggests that goldstandard therapies for PTSD (e.g., Prolonged Exposure and Cognitive Processing Therapy) that have shown potential in randomized clinical trials are subject to substantial dropout rates in real-world practice. Given the high rate of comorbid diagnoses and difficulty engaging this patient cohort in potentially effective treatment, OEF/OIF/OND Veterans require innovative and integrative interventions tailored to their unique needs that are palatable, engaging, and destigmatizing.