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Published Online: 1 March 2012

Salem VAMC–U.S. Army Fort Bragg Warrior Transition Clinic Telepsychiatry Collaboration: 12-Month Operation Clinical Perspective

Publication: Telemedicine and e-Health
Volume 18, Issue Number 2

Abstract

Objective: To describe the clinical experience in the first Veterans Affairs (VA)–U.S. Army Warrior Transition Clinic (WTC) telepsychiatry operation (September 2008–August 2009). Materials: Joint VA and U.S. Army records. Methods: Analysis of intake, follow-up, and last visit records. Results: One hundred twenty active-duty U.S. Army soldiers were seen (394 clinic visits). Ninety-eight soldiers had one or more combat tours, principally in Iraq and Afghanistan. Posttraumatic stress disorder was diagnosed in 50.0% of the cases by the WTC telepsychiatrists. The majority of the soldiers had medical comorbidities, especially chronic pain (75.0%), in addition to mental health problems. Several of the soldiers were recovering from trauma (20.8%) and/or surgery (23.3%), 11.7% exhibited traumatic brain injuries, and 17.5% had headaches. Disrupted relationships (74.2%) were notable for non-family members, especially military cohorts such as other persons in the same WTC squad or platoon. Conclusion: The observations in this report come from a cross-section of soldiers who were triaged to meet WTC admission criteria. As this is the prototype VA–U.S. Army telepsychiatry collaboration, there are no comparative data at this time. The nature of the medical and psychiatric problems treated in the military WTC represents an index of the more severe combat trauma treated on military bases from ongoing combat operations and may predict future VA–U.S. Army collaborative telepsychiatry clinic experiences.

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cover image Telemedicine and e-Health
Telemedicine and e-Health
Volume 18Issue Number 2March 2012
Pages: 81 - 86
PubMed: 22283361

History

Published in print: March 2012
Published online: 1 March 2012
Published ahead of print: 27 January 2012
Accepted: 14 June 2011
Revision received: 13 June 2011
Received: 6 April 2011

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Mark B. Detweiler
Salem VAMC, Salem, Virginia.
Geriatric Research Group, Salem VAMC, Salem, Virginia.
Saira Arif
Carilion Clinic–University of Virginia Roanoke–Salem Psychiatric Medicine Residency Program, Salem, Virginia.
Joseph Candelario
Emergency Department, Salem VAMC, Salem, Virginia.
Joanne Altman
U.S. Army Warrior Transition Clinic, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Pamela F. Murphy
Geriatric Research Group, Salem VAMC, Salem, Virginia.
Adjunct Faculty, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia.
Mary H. Halling
Geriatric Research Group, Salem VAMC, Salem, Virginia.
Sachinder Vasudeva
Salem VAMC, Salem, Virginia.
Jonna G. Detweiler
Geriatric Research Group, Salem VAMC, Salem, Virginia.

Notes

Address correspondence to:Mark B. Detweiler, M.D., M.S.Veterans Affairs Medical Center1970 Roanoke BoulevardSalem, VA 24153E-mail: [email protected]

Disclosure Statement

No competing financial interests exist.

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