Of the 23.8 million military veterans living in the United States, approximately 3 million have served in Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom. The injuries and illnesses that affect veterans returning from combat are predictable. Blast injuries are common and most often present as mild traumatic brain injury, which is synonymous with concussion. Family physicians caring for returning veterans will also encounter conditions such as posttraumatic stress disorder at rates higher than those in the general population. The symptoms associated with posttraumatic stress disorder and mild traumatic brain injury often overlap and can present concurrently. Treatment of traumatic brain injury should be based on symptoms and guided by clinical practice guidelines from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense. Family physicians should understand the range of post-war health concerns and screen returning service members for posttraumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, suicidality, and clinical depression. Family physicians are well positioned to offer continuity of care for issues affecting returning service members and to coordinate the delivery of specialized care when needed.
|Number of pages
|American family physician
|Published - Jul 1 2011
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Medicine